Oregon Businesses Tied to Live Events Receive Financial Support for Lost Income During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocated $1.9 trillion to states for COVID-19 relief and economic recovery nationwide. The Oregon legislature allocated ARPA Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Funds to Business Oregon to support some types of businesses that lost revenue as an outcome of public health measures necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding is grouped into three different phases. Each phase supports Oregon businesses in specified fields of work. Phases 1 and 2 are complete, and Phase 3 will be open for applications on August 16, 2022.

Phase 1 was comprised of up to $5 million to support small and independent community movie theaters. A total of $5 million was awarded to 70 individual theatres statewide. These theatres are locally owned and operated businesses, independent of national chains. The full list of Phase 1 award recipients can be found on www.oregon.gov/biz/.

Phase 2 was comprised of up to $35 million to support live event venue operators and live event producers/presenters. Businesses that received Phase 2 funding include:

  • Venue operators or producers/presenters of ticketed live events
  • Museums with earned revenue from hosting live events
  • Fairgrounds owned and/or operated by non-municipal organizations
  • Cultural venues operated by federally recognized Indian Tribes based in Oregon
  • Tradeshows
  • Special event rental venues
  • Fairs, festivals, and rodeos, among others

Approximately $33.5 million was awarded to 238 organizations. The full list of Phase 2 award recipients can be found on www.oregon.gov/biz/.

Phase 3 will provide funding for the “live events support industry” with up to $10 million in grant assistance for service providers negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The “live events support industry” includes businesses, non-profits, sole proprietors, or independent contractors whose principal business activities result in 50% or more annual revenues derived from the provision of goods (rented or sold) or services for the production and execution of organized live events.

Applicants will be asked to demonstrate a 50% or more loss in revenue from live event support activities in Oregon for calendar year 2020 as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Eligible service providers for Phase 3 include but are not limited to: 

  • Event planners, designers, and talent buyers
  • Event sound, video, lighting, rigging, and staging providers
  • Event supply rental companies
  • Event catering providers
  • Event décor and floral vendors
  • Theatrical services and equipment rental providers
  • Specialty entertainers such as DJs, emcees, costumed characters, actors, musicians, musical groups, auctioneers, and other special event-specific talents
  • Specialized event services and vendors such as event security, VIP toilets, photobooths, portable gaming, amusement providers, event transportation providers, ticket agencies, etc.
  • Wedding-specific services and vendors such as stylists and makeup artists, photographers and videographers, planners and coordinators, etc.

The guidelines for Phase 3 can be found on www.oregon.gov/biz/. The application opens on August 16 and will be open for two weeks. Phase 3 awards will be announced in September. Eligible applicants will be selected for funding via a randomized lottery system; this is not a “first-come first-served” program.

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