Nearly 300 Venues in Michigan Awarded $280M in Grants

by Scott McClallen


When the COVID-19 pandemic struck Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer shuttered much economic activity in Michigan without compensation for lost revenue. While groceries stores stayed open, venues designed for packing people into spaces like theaters, museums, and zoos to enjoy art shuttered for longer than five months.

So the U.S. Small Business Administration administered over $16 billion nationwide through the Shuttered Venue Operators Grantees (SVOG) nationwide. In Michigan, 279 businesses ranging from museums to art centers to theaters have been promised a total of $280 million, with amounts from $3,500 to up to $10 million.

Eligible applicants qualified for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with a maximum single grant award of $10 million.

Companies must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020. Venues that received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan on or after December 27, 2020, will have the SVOG reduced by the PPP loan amount.

Eligible entities include:

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organization operators
  • Museum operators
  • Motion picture theater operators (including owners)
  • Talent representatives

Grant amounts will reflect either of the following instances:

  • For an eligible entity in operation on January 1, 2019, grants will be for an amount equal to 45% of their 2019 gross earned revenue or $10 million, whichever is less.
  • For an eligible entity that began operation after January 1, 2019, grants will be for the average monthly gross earned revenue for each full month you were in operation during 2019 multiplied by six OR $10 million, whichever is less.

That money must fund payroll costs, rent and utility payments, scheduled mortgage payments, administrative costs, state and local taxes, and more. Some of the companies that received the most money are listed below.

  • Northwoods Entertainment LLC in Bloomfield Hills: $10 million
  • The Edison Institute in Dearborn: $10 million
  • 313 Presents in Detroit: $10 million
  • Michigan State University’s Wharton Center for Performing Arts: $10 million
  • Grand Rapids Kent County Arena Authority: $10 million
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts: $10 million
  • Emagine Holdings LLC in Lake Angelus: $10 million
  • Nofrank Holdings LLC in Lake Angelus: $9.6 million
  • Loeks Theatres Inc. in Grand Rapids: $9.6 million
  • Detroit Zoological Society: $7.7 million
  • Loeks Woodland Properties LLC in Grand Rapids: $7.4 million

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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on and Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.
Photo “Wharton Center” by Wharton Center. CC BY SA 3.0.






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