• Restaurant operators will be able to work directly with POS providers Square, Toast, Clover and NCR to apply for RRF relief grants, according to the SBA.
  • While the SBA encourages applicants to use a POS ecosystem, they can still apply for funding through the new RRF website as well.

Related: How to get a jumpstart on your Restaurant Revitalization Fund application

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has partnered with several point-of-sale (POS) providers to make it easier for restaurant owners to apply for Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) grants.

The technology partners include Square, Toast, Clover and NCR Corporation. The SBA described the initiative as a “groundbreaking effort to provide a customer-centric approach to the delivery of relief funds.”

“The SBA is partnering with point-of-sale providers to leverage technology to better reach the smallest businesses that need our help the most,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “This collaboration is just one example of the many innovative and creative ways we’re connecting with entrepreneurs in the hardest-hit and underserved communities.”

“The SBA must be as entrepreneurial as the entrepreneurs we serve,” she added. “These partnerships enable us to meet small businesses where they are instead of waiting for them to come to us.”

While the SBA encourages applicants to use a POS ecosystem if possible, applicants without access to those providers can still submit their applications electronically at restaurants.sba.gov. The site went live last Saturday and includes a sample application and program guidelines.

Once the SBA announces when applications will be accepted, qualifying restaurants will be able to work directly with certain point-of-sale service providers to help them apply for the RRF. Each point-of-sale partner is helping in different ways, from providing a fully integrated application experience to building pre-packaged point-of-sale documentation and holding interactive webinars. In all cases, these partnerships allow for thousands of restaurant owners to accelerate their application submission process.

For example, in order to support the SBA initiative, Clover has developed a simple digital portal for small business owners to both determine their eligibility and securely access the verified statements (POS Reports) required by the SBA during the application process. By applying for an RRF grant with verified POS Reports from Clover, the application decision period for restaurants to receive funding is expected to be shortened by multiple days, according to the company.

In addition to simplifying the application process, Clover is also promoting awareness of the SBA RRF by conducting direct outreach to inform restaurants of the opportunity; providing educational resources dedicated to answering questions business owners have related to the RRF; and hosting a webinar with the SBA on Thursday, April 28 at 1:30 p.m. ET. The webinar is open to all small businesses and can be accessed here.

Related: How the American Rescue Plan will help independent restaurants and small chains

Under Guzman’s leadership, the SBA is prioritizing inclusion and equity in its programs as outlined by Congress. Small business entrepreneurs have been asked to pivot and adapt to the new COVID-19 marketplace, and the SBA is doing the same while ensuring it provides equitable distribution of funds and easier access to disaster relief programs, Guzman said.

“As restaurant sellers prepare for reopening, we’re working with the SBA to provide them with the tools and services they need to rebuild,” said Bruce Bell, head of Square for Restaurants. “We’re honored to partner with the SBA in this important initiative as we continue to support our sellers on the challenging road ahead.”

“The restaurant industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, and we are pleased to work with the SBA to help our customers easily access and navigate the Restaurant Revitalization Fund application process,” said Nick DeLeonardis, Toast’s senior vice president and general manager for payments, lending and payroll. “As the Biden Administration continues to roll out new programs, this partnership will serve as an example of ways in which the public and private sectors can work together to serve the greater good.”

Dirk Izzo, president and general manager of NCR Hospitality, noted that restaurants have struggled to survive the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. “We are committed and honored to do our part to facilitate access to much-needed financial support for our customers so they can keep their businesses running,” he said.

“By working alongside the SBA, we are expediting the Restaurant Revitalization Fund application process for restaurants using Clover or Fiserv technology, facilitating faster access to much-needed capital so they can continue to serve customers and their communities,” said Jeff Dickerson, head of Clover from Fiserv. “We are proud to do our part to support a critical initiative that will aid restaurant reopening and do so with a focus on revitalizing women-owned, veteran-owned, and minority-owned restaurants.

The SBA is in ongoing conversations with other interested parties to continue to widely and equitably deliver an experience that is centered around who it is serving—owners of restaurants, bars, breweries, bakeries, etc. Point-of-sale service providers who are interested in participating in this program should email restaurants@sba.gov. A full list of official point-of-sale service providers will be continually updated and can be found at sba.gov/restaurants.

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