How to Get a Jumpstart on Your Restaurant Revitalization Fund Application

SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said smaller restaurants hit hardest by the pandemic will be prioritized for funding.

  • The Small Business Administration’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund website went live on Saturday and includes guidelines and a sample application. However, applications are still not being accepted yet.
  • The SBA has urged restaurateurs to be ready to submit their applications immediately when applications go live. Women, veterans and members of certain disadvantaged groups will be prioritized in the first 21 days.

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

The Small Business Administration (SBAA) has not begun accepting applications for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) yet, but it has launched its website and provided a sample application to help restaurateurs be prepared when it’s time to apply.

The site, which went live on Saturday, can be viewed here, and the sample application can be downloaded here.

Details about the program and eligibility can be found here. Information about funding amounts can be found here.

Congress has allocated $28.6 billion for the RRF, which is designed to help restaurant owners recoup some of their losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to high demand and limited funds, the SBA is urging restaurant owners to be ready to submit their applications right away as soon as the applications go live. However, the starting date has not yet been announced.

Smaller restaurants hit hardest by the pandemic will receive top priority for funding, SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said in a statement.

Related: National Restaurant Association predicts $1.2 trillion in industry sales by 2030

“Today [Saturday, April 17], we are starting the process to help restaurants and bars across the country devastated by the pandemic, and this is our message: Help is here,” Guzman said. “With the launch of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, we’re prioritizing funding to the hardest-hit small businesses—irreplaceable gathering places in our neighborhoods and communities that need a lifeline now to get back on their feet. And, thanks to clear directives from Congress, we’re rolling out this program to make sure that these businesses can meet payroll, purchase supplies and get what they need in place to transition to today’s COVID-restricted marketplace.”

Guzman said the RRF’s application process is “streamlined and free of burdensome, bureaucratic hurdles.”

Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN) notes that applicants will be required to submit paperwork such as business tax returns (IRS Form 1120 or IRS 1120-S), IRS Forms 1040 Schedule C, IRS Forms 1040 Schedule and, if applicable, partnerships IRS Form 1065, bank statements, Income Statements or Profit and Loss Statements, and point-of-sales reports, including IRS Form 1099-K.

According to the application, acceptable gross receipts for calculating the funding amount include business tax returns (IRS Form 1120 or IRS 1120-S), IRS Forms 1040 Schedule C, IRS Forms 1040 Schedule, and (if applicable) partnership’s IRS Form 1065, Bank statements, externally or internally prepared financial statements such as Income Statements or Profit and Loss Statements, and point of sale reports including IRS Form 1099-K.

To get a jumpstart on applying for the RRF, you should go ahead and download the sample application, review and understand all the details about the program and eligibility requirements, gather the required paperwork, and read all of the sample application questions and get your answers prepared in advance.

Make sure you’ve got all of your 2019 and 2020 financial statements in order. If you have trouble understanding the language in the program description or any of the questions, bring your accountant into the process and/or consult with your attorney. In fact, it’s probably smart to keep your accountant on speed-dial even if you plan to fill out the application yourself.

Keep a close eye on the news! When the SBA announces a start date for applications, you’ll want to know about it!

Restaurants owned by women, veterans and people from socially or economically disadvantaged groups will receive top priority during the first 21 days that applications are accepted. So if you are a member of one of those groups, including black, Latino, Indigenous American, Asian, Native Alaskan or Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander, you will have the first shot at RRF funds. But you will still want to move quickly and have your paperwork together as soon as possible. The funds will be depleted quickly no matter what.

Additionally, keep in mind that the SBA has set aside $5 billion for restaurants with 2019 gross receipts of less than $500,000.

The SBA will also reserve $500 million for the smallest operations, those with gross yearly receipts totaling less than $50,000.