The new COVID-19 stimulus bill (Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021) passed by both the U.S. House and Senate and was signed into law by President Trump on Monday, December 28, 2020. This new bill allocates more than $2.3 trillion for nonprofit organizations and businesses. The following is a summary of the provisions that are most relevant to the arts sector.

Paycheck Protection Program Second Draw Loans

The Act provides for additional loans if certain requirements are met. Generally, to qualify, a business cannot employ more than 300 employees and demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts in the first, second, or third quarter of 2020 relative to the same 2019 quarter. There are specific items required under this provision and limitation on the loan, subject to certain computations, with maximum loan amounts capped at $2 million.

Grants for Shuttered Venue Operations

The Act provides funds for live venue operators that meet certain guidelines in the Act. A total of $15 billion will be available for “a live venue operator or promoter, theatrical producer, or live performing arts organization operator, a relevant museum operator, a motion picture theatre operator or a talent representative” who was fully operational on February 29, 2020 and who intends to reopen. Entities must demonstrate a reduction in revenues of at least 25% relative to the previous year, calculated on a quarterly basis.

Charitable Giving Incentive

The Act also reestablishes the $300 above-the-line deduction for 2021 and permits a $600 deduction for couples filing jointly in 2021. It also extends the increased limits on deductible charitable contributions for individuals who itemize and for corporations for one year. Nonprofits can remind donors of this incentive during their giving process.

The full 5,593-page Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 is available here. Further guidance from the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Treasury Department is needed to fully determine implementation and availability of these loans and grants. It may take several weeks for additional information to become available. The Arts and Education Council will stay tuned and provide updates as they become available.