California Venues Grant Program. This program is funded by the State of California and administered by CalOSBA.

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FAQ’s by section

Section 1: Program Overview

Section 2: Application Guidance

Section 1: Program Overview

Who is Lendistry?

Lendistry is a technology partner that hosts and manages the portal for the Program’s grant application and will make grant payments to approved applicants. Applicants will receive notifications from Lendistry on the status of their application and requests for business information and supporting documents, including their business bank account information.

Visit lendistry.com to learn more about Lendistry.

What is the California Venues Grant Program?

The California Venues Grant Program (the “Program”) will support eligible independent live events venues that have been affected by COVID-19 in order to support their continued operation.

What is an “eligible live events venue”?

For purposes of this program, “eligible venue” means a venue with the following characteristics:

  1. A defined performance and audience space.
  2. Mixing equipment, a public address system, and a lighting rig.
  3. Engages one or more individuals to carry out not less than two of the following roles:
    • A sound engineer.
    • A booker.
    • A promoter.
    • A stage manager.
    • Security personnel.
    • A box office manager.
  4. Is one of the three highest revenue grossing entities, locations, or franchises associated with the applicant.
  5. For a venue owned or operated by a nonprofit entity that produces free events, the events are produced and managed primarily by paid employees, not by volunteers.

What costs are eligible for the California Venues Grant Program?

Grant moneys awarded under this section shall only be used for costs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and related health and safety restrictions, or business interruptions or closures incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the following:

  • Employee expenses, including payroll costs, health care benefits, paid sick, medical, or family leave, and insurance premiums.
  • Working capital and overhead, including rent, utilities, mortgage principal, and interest payments, but excluding mortgage prepayments, and debt obligations, including principal and interest, incurred before March 1, 2020.
  • Costs associated with reopening business operations after being fully or partially closed due to state-mandated COVID-19 health and safety restrictions and business closures.
  • Costs associated with complying with COVID-19 federal, state, or local guidelines for reopening with required safety protocols, including, but not limited to, equipment, plexiglass barriers, outdoor dining, personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies, testing, and employee training expenses.
  • Any other COVID-19-related expenses not already covered through grants, forgivable loans, or other relief through federal, state, county, or city programs.
  • Any other COVID-19-related costs that are not human resource expenses for the state share of Medicaid, employee bonuses, severance pay, taxes, legal settlements, personal expenses, or other expenses unrelated to COVID-19 impacts, repairs from damages already covered by insurance, or reimbursement to donors for donated items or services.

What businesses are ineligible for the California Venues Grant Program?

  • Notwithstanding the three previous pages, “eligible independent live event” shall not include entities that satisfy any of the following:
  • Is a publicly traded corporation, or is majority owned and controlled by a publicly traded corporation.
  • Owns or operates entities in more than five states or in another country, or is owned by an entity that owns or operates entities in more than five states or in another country.
  • Generates less than 75 percent of its gross earned revenue in California.
  • Demonstrates a percentage gross earned revenue decline in California of less than 30 percent, based on a reporting period comparing Q2, Q3, and Q4 of 2020, compared to Q2, Q3, and Q4 of 2019.
  • Businesses without a physical presence in the state and not headquartered in the state.
  • Businesses primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities, regardless of whether the entity is registered as a 501(c)(3), 501(c)(6), or 501(c)(19).
  • Passive businesses, investment companies, and investors who file a Schedule E on their tax returns.
  • Financial institutions or businesses primarily engaged in the business of lending, such as banks, finance companies, and factoring companies.
  • Businesses engaged in any activity that is unlawful under federal, state, or local law.
  • Businesses that restrict patronage for any reason other than capacity.
  • Speculative businesses.
  • Businesses with any owner of greater than 10 percent of the equity interest in it who meets one or more of the following criteria:
    • The owner has, within the prior three years, been convicted of or had a civil judgment rendered against the owner, or has had commenced any form of parole or probation, including probation before judgment, for commission of fraud or a criminal offense in connection with obtaining, attempting to obtain, or performing a federal, state, or local public transaction or contract under a public transaction, violation of federal or state antitrust or procurement statutes or commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, or receiving stolen property.
    • The owner is presently indicted for or otherwise criminally or civilly charged by a federal, state, or local government entity, with commission of any of the offenses enumerated in clause (i).
  • Affiliated companies, as defined in Section 121.103 of Title 13 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
  • Other businesses determined by the office, consistent with the limitations and exclusions set in Rounds 1 and 2 of the COVID-19 Relief Grant Program.

What are the eligible uses of funds for the California Venues Grant Program.

Grant moneys awarded under this section shall only be used for costs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and related health and safety restrictions, or business interruptions or closures incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the following:

  • Employee expenses, including payroll costs, health care benefits, paid sick, medical, or family leave, and insurance premiums.
  • Working capital and overhead, including rent, utilities, mortgage principal, and interest payments, but excluding mortgage prepayments, and debt obligations, including principal and interest, incurred before March 1, 2020.
  • Costs associated with reopening business operations after being fully or partially closed due to state-mandated COVID-19 health and safety restrictions and business closures.
  • Costs associated with complying with COVID-19 federal, state, or local guidelines for reopening with required safety protocols, including, but not limited to, equipment, plexiglass barriers, outdoor dining, personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies, testing, and employee training expenses.
  • Any other COVID-19-related expenses not already covered through grants, forgivable loans, or other relief through federal, state, county, or city programs.
  • Any other COVID-19-related costs that are not human resource expenses for the state share of Medicaid, employee bonuses, severance pay, taxes, legal settlements, personal expenses, or other expenses unrelated to COVID-19 impacts, repairs from damages already covered by insurance, or reimbursement to donors for donated items or services.

What documents are required to apply for the California Venues Grant Program?

All of the following documents are required and must be uploaded to the Portal:

  • Applicant Certification (PDF)
    Completed and signed to self-certify the truthfulness and accuracy of the information you provide in the web application and supporting documents.
  • Business Financials (PDF)
    • All pages of the business 2019 federal tax returns
    • All pages of the business 2019 California tax returns
    • All pages of the business 2020 federal tax returns
    • All pages of business 2020 California tax returns
  • Government-Issued ID (PDF or JPEG)
    Driver’s License or Passport (Expired IDs will not be accepted)
  • Interim Financial Statements (PDF)
    • Interim financials statement covering Q2, Q3 & Q4 for 2019
    • Interim financials statement covering Q2, Q3 & Q4 for 2020
  • Official filing with the California Secretary of State (which must be active) or local municipality, as applicable, for your business such as one of the following (PDF):
    • Articles of Incorporation
    • Certificate of Organization
    • Fictitious Name of Registration
    • Government-issued Business License (sole proprietors without fictitious name)
  • Nonprofits Only: Most Recent IRS Tax Exemption Letter (PDF)
  • NOTE: Must provide a California Secretary of State filing evidencing that the business was legally doing business in the State of California prior to June 1, 2019.

Are recipients of a grant award for the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program eligible to apply for the California Venues Grant Program?

  • Eligible independent live event applicants shall complete a new and separate application for the grants allocated under this program even if they already have submitted an application for the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program established in Section 12100.83 of the California Government Code.
  • If an eligible independent live event has been awarded a grant under the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program established in Section 12100.83 of the California Government Code, the amount of that grant shall be subtracted from the grant amount awarded under this program. If the grant amount awarded under Section 12100.83 of the California Government Code is greater than the amount awarded under this program, the eligible independent live event shall not receive a grant under this program and no amount shall be subtracted.

What are the eligible grant awards for the California Venues Grant Program?

Grants awarded under this Program shall be in an amount equal to the lesser of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) or 20 percent of the applicant’s gross earned revenue in California for the 2019 taxable year.
Section 2: Application Guidance

How can Lendistry’s Portal be accessed if an applicant’s login credentials are not working?

To log into Lendistry’s Portal, applicants will need to use the email address, password, and mobile number they registered at the beginning of the application process. Please review the Program and Application Guide for reference.

If they are an applicant of the California Venues Grant Program and are unable to sign in to Lendistry’s Portal with their registered credentials, review the following steps to troubleshoot their account.

If they do not know the email address or mobile number they registered, please contact our Call Center at (888) 984-1173 (M – F: 7:00am – 7:00pm PST).

If they do not know their password, they will need to reset it themselves. Our Call Center does not have access to their password. Click HERE to reset their password.

Lendistry’s Portal can be accessed HERE.

If an applicant owns multiple venues, can they apply for each one?

Owners of multiple venues will be considered for only one grant and are required to apply for the business that is one of the three highest revenue grossing entities, locations, or franchises associated with the applicant.

Do grant awards with the California Venues Grant Program have to be repaid?

No. The award is a grant and is not a loan that is required to be repaid. However, the State of California has the right to seek all available remedies for failing to comply with the terms and conditions of the grant, including, without limitation, if the grantee was ineligible, used funds for unauthorized purposes or made false statements in connection with the grant application.

Are grant proceeds taxed?

Yes, applicants will receive tax information related to the grant proceeds, which will need to be reported on tax returns. Please consult with a tax professional for additional information.

How will applicants be notified to confirm Lendistry has received all of their required information and documentation to be considered for a grant?

Applicants will receive a confirmation email from [email protected] to confirm their application has been received. If more information or documents are needed, Lendistry may contact applicants by email, phone, and/or text (if authorized) to verify the information they submitted. Lendistry is available to assist applicants in understanding what business information is needed and how to upload documents.

Confirmation emails come from Lendistry at [email protected] If an applicant did not receive a confirmation email after submitting their application, we advise the applicant to check their spam folder for emails from [email protected] and add the email address to their email account’s safe sender list.

TIP: Place “Lendistry” in the search bar.

How much can my business apply for?

Grants awarded under this Program shall be in an amount equal to the lesser of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) or 20 percent of the applicant’s gross earned revenue in California for the 2019 taxable year.

Can nonprofits apply?

Yes. For a venue owned or operated by a nonprofit entity that produces free events, the events must be produced and managed primarily by paid employees, not by volunteers.

How can applicants check the status of their application during the review process?

They can check the status of their application at any time by signing into Lendistry’s Portal using the username, password, and mobile number that they registered. Once signed in, the status will appear on the dashboard.

Lendistry’s Portal can be accessed HERE.

How are applicants approved or declined for grant funding?

The application process for this Program contains multiple stages of validation. Eligible applicants must first meet the Program’s minimum eligibility requirements in order to be considered for a grant. Important Note: Meeting the minimum eligibility requirements does not guarantee a grant award.

Eligible applicants will then go through the final stages of validation to determine if they are approved or declined for funding.

Lendistry will notify all applicants of their determination.

If a business is active, but the Secretary of State’s website is reflecting it as inactive. What documents can be provided to show that a business is active?

Lendistry may require proof of payment of applicable Secretary of State fees and/or Franchise Tax Board payments evidencing active status in California. Required proof of payment may include canceled check, an email confirmation of payment, or bank statement reflecting payment.

The application requests personal information from individuals involved in the business. How is this information being used?

The security of the applicant’s personal information is of the highest priority for Lendistry. Many of the categories of personal information that are collected are requested to assist us in determining and verifying their eligibility for a grant. Lendistry also requests certain personal information for the purposes of compliance with Office of Foreign Assets Control requirements and other requirements related to the enforcement of economic and trade sanctions. As this is a grant program funded by the State of California and administered by its designated agencies, certain of their personal information and application materials may/will also be shared with the State of California and/or its designated authorized representatives, including without limitation the California Office of the Small Business Advocate and the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. Any information and records in the possession or control of a California government agency or department are subject to disclosure pursuant to the California Public Records Act.

Lendistry does not sell personal information to advertisers or other third parties for financial gain. Any sharing of personal information with third parties is done in accordance with Lendistry’s privacy policy (available here) and is primarily for the purposes of making available and/or providing Lendistry’s products and services, including this grant.

An applicant’s documents and bank information have been fully validated and they have been approved for funding. When will they receive funding?

Once fully validated and approved for grant funding, they will receive a grantee agreement via Docusign. Funding will not be released unless and until the grantee agreement is fully executed.

Once Lendistry has received a fully executed grantee agreement, please allow up to 5 business days for funding to be received.

What kind of bank account does an applicant need to accept funds?

Sole proprietors can be funded through a personal bank account. All other types of businesses must have a business bank account to receive funding. Bank accounts must always match the application name.

Does an applicant have to submit documentation to verify ownership? Do multi-owner companies have to submit for one owner or all?

An application must be submitted by the majority owner of the business. Applicants will need to certify that the application is being submitted on behalf of the applicant by the majority owner of the applicant as a condition to receiving the grant. Only one business owner can apply.

Who is a permissible “authorized representative” for executing a nonprofit’s certification and grantee agreement?

A nonprofit’s business certification and grantee agreement must be executed by the organization’s executive director or equivalent senior managing officer of the organization. This individual must be the same individual listed on the organization’s Statement of Information filed with the state.

What forms of government-issued photo ID will be accepted?

Applicants will be required to verify their identity using Persona by uploading a picture of a valid government-issued photo ID.

Acceptable forms of government-issued photo ID include:

  • Driver’s License;
  • United States Passport; and
  • State ID.

Applicants will also need to take a selfie using a device with a front-facing camera to complete the Persona verification.

What is Persona?
Persona is a third-party platform utilized by Lendistry in its fraud prevention and mitigation process. The Persona platform enables Lendistry to verify an individual’s identity and protect against identity spoofing by automatically comparing the individual’s selfie to their ID portrait with a 3-point composite and biometric liveness checks.

The following forms of ID will NOT be accepted:

  1. Expired IDs
  2. Bus Passes
  3. School IDs
  4. Union IDs
  5. Job Badges
  6. Library Cards

Can an applicant be reexamined if they were deemed ineligible for this grant program?

Only one reexamination request is allowed for each application.

They will be notified via email if they are ineligible for this grant program. If there was an error in their web application form or in the documentation provided as part of their application, please contact our dedicated Call Center at (888) 984-1173 (M – F: 7:00am – 7:00pm PST) within five (5) days of receiving this email. Please note that this will not guarantee a reversal of their ineligibility. Additional documents and information may be requested to further validate their application.

If Lendistry does not hear from they within this timeframe, their ineligibility will be sustained and their file will be closed.

Can an applicant be reexamined if they were declined for a grant award?

Only one reexamination request is allowed for each application.

They will be notified via email if they are declined for a grant award. If they believe they were declined in error, please contact our dedicated Call Center at (888) 984-1173 (M – F: 7:00am – 7:00pm PST) within five (5) days of receiving this email. Please note that this will not guarantee a reversal of their decline determination. Additional documents and information may be requested to further validate their application.

If Lendistry does not hear from they within this timeframe, their decline determination will remain permanent and their file will be closed.

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