- The Small Business Administration opened its portal for Restaurant Revitalization Fund applications on Monday, May 3.
- The $28.6 billion fund is expected to be exhausted quickly, so restaurateurs are urged to submit their applications immediately.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) will begin accepting applications for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) at 12 noon (ET) today. According to SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, the funds will go fast, so all eligible restaurateurs should submit their applications as soon as the portal opens.
To apply, restaurant owners must first register for an account on the RRF website. Registration began on Friday, April 30.
“The SBA has focused on the marketplace realities of our food and beverage businesses in designing the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to meet businesses where they are,” Guzman said in a press release. “And we are committed to equity to ensure our smaller and underserved businesses, which have suffered the most, can access this critical relief, recover, and grow more resilient.”
Established under the American Rescue Plan and signed into law by President Biden on March 11, the RRF will provide $28.6 billion in direct relief funds to restaurants and other food establishments that have experienced economic distress and significant operational losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Funds must be used for allowable expenses by March 11, 2023.
For the program’s first 21 days, the SBA will prioritize funding applications from businesses owned and controlled by women, veterans and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Those who don’t meet this criteria should still plan to submit their application as soon as the portal opens. Following the 21-days period, eligible applications will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis.
To ensure equitable distribution of relief for smaller restaurants, the SBA has set aside $9.5 billion, including $5 billion for applicants with 2019 gross receipts of not more than $500,000; $4 billion for applicants with 2019 gross receipts from $500,001 to $1,500,000; and $500 million for applicants with 2019 gross receipts not more than $50,000.
“Today’s launch of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund provides long-awaited hope for tens of thousands of restaurants who are on a long path to recovery,” said Tom Bené, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “The question on the minds of many is what happens when applications outpace the available funds. Restaurants are operating in an uncertain environment, with continued needs to restore customer confidence in their safety and to bring workers back into the economy. We will continue to work with policymakers to secure a comprehensive set of solutions, including additional funding for the RRF.”