Financial Assistance

What is available in terms of financial help for non-profit arts organizations. Here are some links:


Updates on PPA Loans/Other Assistance from Americans for the Arts:

  1. On June 5, 2020, the President signed into law the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act to provide borrowers greater flexibility in getting their loans forgiven. Today on June 8th, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza released a joint statementoutlining the changes.
    • Please note that while the “covered period” of the loan was extended from 8 weeks to 24 weeks, the deadline for applying for a PPP loan application remains June 30, 2020.  If you’re still interested in applying for a forgivable PPP federal loan, please do not delay. There is still more than $130 billion in available funds and you must apply by the end of this month.
  2. On June 8, 2020, the Federal Reserve announced the expansion of the Mainstreet Lending Program to small and medium-size businesses. While these types of loans are not the forgivable type and were previously only available to major corporations, the terms may be attractive and provide much more flexibility for use of funds. $75 billion is being made available for these loans through the CARES Act. Please note that the Federal Reserve Board also confirmed that they will soon be announcing an additional loan program specifically for nonprofit organizations. Key highlights of the newly expanded Main Street Loans include:
    • Allowing eligibility for companies with fewer than 15,000 employees
    • Lowering the minimum loan size for certain loans to $250,000 from $500,000
    • Increasing the maximum loan size for all facilities
    • Increasing the term of each loan option to five years, from four years
    • Extending the repayment period for all loans by delaying principal payments for two years, rather than one year
    • Deferring interest payments for one year
    • Interest rates set at LIBOR+3%
    • Raising the Reserve Bank’s purchasing of all loans to 95%

The U.S. Treasury Department released long-awaited guidance and the official application for PPP loan forgiveness on May 15, 2020. Official guidance for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) on how to get your loan forgiven and turned into a grant has been the burning question since the popular program launched in early April. In just the first round of funding, the Treasury Department reported that the Arts, Entertainment & Recreation sector was awarded more than $4.9 billion in loans to 39,000+ organizations and gig workers. Americans for the Arts and the Arts Action Fund will be scheduling a webinar very soon on these guidelines. There is over $100 billion still available in the Paycheck Protection Program. I recommend that you apply as soon as possible before the funds are exhausted. To learn if you’re eligible, go to

Arlington County has published the general guidelines for its new small business GRANT Program. The GRANT program is designed to provide immediate financial assistance to Arlington’s small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The GRANT program would provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses and nonprofits with less than 50 employees. Businesses may use grants for employee salaries and benefits, and other business capital and operating expenses directly related to the immediate impacts of COVID-19.

The Arlington Chamber of Commerce announced the “Save Small Business Fund” for select small businesses. The fund is going to be making $5,000 grants to businesses that employ between 3-20 people in select ZIP codes which have been harmed financially by the pandemic. Applications will open on Monday, April 20 at 3:00 pm. It should only take 10 minutes to complete the application and all you need is your business’s W-9 and some basic supporting information. Each grant is for $5,000 and must be applied to business expenses. Additional information, FAQs, and a box where you can enter your email to receive a notification when the applications are live can be found at this website.

Emergency Grants for Artists: Wherewithal Recovery Grants

The Washington Project for the Arts are excited to announce that the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation has joined the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in supporting Wherewithal Recovery Grants. Their combined contribution, which has been further augmented by individual donations, brings the total funds available to nearly $80,000. This means that we will award funding to close to 80 artists in the DC metropolitan area over a four-week period. Wherewithal are intended to provide financial assistance for immediate needs such as rent, food, childcare, healthcare, etc. to professional visual artists, as well as moving-image/performance/sound artists with a history of presenting or performing in visual arts contexts (galleries, museums, etc.), living inside the DC-area Beltway. Deadline: May 1, 2020.

The National Endowment for the Arts will award funds to nonprofit arts organizations across the country to help these entities and their employees endure the economic hardships caused by the forced closure of their operations due to the spread of COVID-19. As part of this important investment, the Arts Endowment has designed a plan to expedite the distribution of critical funds to the national, regional, state, and local levels to help retain as many jobs as possible, as quickly as possible. These funds are intended to help save jobs in the arts sector and keep the doors open to the thousands of organizations that add value to America’s economy and the creative life of our communities.

Artist Relief will distribute $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19; serve as an ongoing informational resource; and co-launch the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers designed by Americans for the Arts to better identify and address the needs of artists.

The non-profit Virginia 30 Day Fund provides forgivable loans for Virginia-based small businesses. The forgivable loan is intended to provide immediate financial assistance (within maximum three days) to meet payroll, preserve healthcare coverage for employees and save jobs while they await recently approved federal funding. The Virginia 30 Day Fund is designed to be quick, easy, and free of red tape, as small business owners work to keep employees on board in the near term. All we ask in return: if you can, pay it forward.

TheatreWashington announced the expansion of the Taking Care Fund, which provides emergency assistance to Washington-area theater professionals in times of unforeseen financial hardship. If you are a theater professional residing in and who has actively worked in the Washington metropolitan area within the past two years, you are eligible to apply for emergency relief. Grants will be awarded in two phases. Starting on April 1, 2020, applications received by March 31 will be reviewed. On April 15, 2020, applications received by April 14 will be reviewed. After April 15, fundraising efforts will be assessed and more awards will be made based on funding activity.

Community Foundation for Northern Virginia remains focused on providing general operating grants for local nonprofits offering basic needs assistance or emergency financial assistance including ……healthcare and gig economy workers, immigrants, and communities of color. Round Two grants from the Fund will be announced on April 3 and Round Three grants will be announced at a later date in April or early May.

Arts Administrators of Color Network has set up the Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund in support of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists AND administrators (consultants, facilitators, box office staff, seasonal/temporary employees, etc.) who have been financially impacted due to COVID-19.

The Artists’ Fellowship provides emergency aid to professional fine artists and their families in times of sickness, natural disaster, bereavement or unexpected extreme hardship. Primarily serving artists in New York.

The Creator Fund from the email marketing company ConvertKit is offering financial assistance of up to $500 for artists and small business owners—the term “creator” is loosely defined. The mini grants can be used for groceries, childcare, rent, mortgage or medical expenses. On its website, the Creator Fund is realistic about its limitations to meet everyone’s needs, but still encourages people to apply.

The Haven Foundation gives financial assistance to provide temporary support needed to safeguard and sustain the careers of established freelance artists, writers, and other members of the arts and art production communities who have suffered disabilities or experienced a career-threatening illness, accident, natural disaster or personal catastrophe.

Actors Fund offers emergency financial assistance program helps eligible applicants in need. It is not income replacement, but limited funds for basic living necessities. The Actors Fund is also administering COVID19 Assistance programs for performing arts and entertainment unions including SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, Actors Equity Association, American Guild of Musical Artists and Musicians Local 802. Additionally, The Fund is administering the Jujamcyn Theatre Assistance Program.

The Indie Theater Fund is offering unrestricted rapid relief grants to indie theater companies and individual artists in need due to the financial strain of closings etc related to Covid19. We will be offering grants of up to $500 on an on-going basis until our funds run out. The more we raise in our campaign, the more we will be able to provide as we are allocating 100% to these grants and our community resource efforts. Please share the Facebook campaign far and wide. We are prioritizing companies and artists with budgets less than $250,000. We will be reviewing on a first come first serve basis and will do our best to turn these around quickly.

Relief Funds and Financial Assistance (running list)

  • The Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant is for painters, printmakers and sculptors
  • Artly World launched the Artist Relief Project supporting artist with $200 grants
  • Arts Administrators of Color Network launched a relief fund to support BIPOC artists and administrators.
  • ArtsFund created the COVID-19 Arts Emergency Relief Fund for arts organizations.
  • Artwork Archives has compiled a list of emergency grants for artists.
  • Dramatists Guild Foundation launches relief fundsupporting individual playwrights, composers, lyricists, and bookwriters.
  • EqualSound launches relief fundsupporting musicians who have lost gigs due to the pandemic.
  • Foundation for Contemporary Arts has a relief fund for artists who incur unexpected or unbudgeted expenses for projects close to completion with committed exhibition or performance dates
  • Mellon Foundation Joins Consortium Supporting Small and Mid-size Arts Organizations through $75-million NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund
  • MusiCares launched a relief fund to cover things such as lost income due to cancellations
  • Musicians Foundation is accepting aid applications.
  • Rauschenberg announced an Medical Emergency grant program for artists.
  • Springboard for the Arts has several resources and relief funds.


The U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) administratively declared an economic disaster for Arlington. The SBA is now offering low-interest federal disaster loans to small businesses suffering economic injury as a result of COVID-19. The Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance per small business, and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

The SBA is also offering emergency small business loans that provide funding for special emergency loans of 2.5 times monthly payroll expenses, up to $10 million for eligible nonprofits and small businesses, permitting them to cover costs of payroll, rent, utilities, and debt service, and provides that the loans be forgiven in whole or in part under certain circumstances. (Title I, Section 1102). Important points:

  • General Eligibility: Available to entities that existed on March 1, 2020, and had paid employees.
  • Nonprofit Eligibility: Available for charitable nonprofits with 500 or fewer employees (counting each individual – full time or part time and not FTEs).
  • Loan Use: Loan funds could be used to make payroll and associated costs, including health insurance premiums, facilities costs, and debt service.
  • Loan Forgiveness: Employers that maintain employment between February 15 and June 30 would be eligible to have their loans forgiven, essentially turning the loan into a grant. The amount of loan forgiveness would be equal to the amount spent by the borrower during an 8-week period after the origination date of the loan. The portion of the loan that can be forgiven would be reduced by an amount related to positions that have been eliminated and wages that have been reduced, unless those positions and wages are restored by June 30, 2020. (Section 1106)

Loans will be available through SBA and Treasury approved banks, credit unions, and some nonbank lenders.

Here is the guidance from the Treasury Department:

Here is a link to a comprehensive and clear guide to the SBA programs published by the Senate Committee on Small Business.

To help serve our local business community, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce compiled a list of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) lenders, drawing information from Chamber member lenders that are administering PPP loans. The PPP was created as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help businesses cover payroll and other expenses while they’re affected by COVID-19. All information was provided directly from the institutions.

Arlington County’s BizLaunch is available to help any group that want to apply for an SBA loan or needs free business assistance.


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