On May 3, 2021, the U.S. Small Business Administration began accepting applications for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, a $28.6 billion program established by the American Rescue Plan to provide relief to the hard-hit restaurant industry. The RRF program provides funding equal to an eligible entity’s pandemic-related revenue losses (generally calculated as 2019 gross receipts minus 2020 gross receipts), up to $10 million per business, minus any PPP funds received by the applicant. The program essentially offers grants, as funds used to pay eligible expenses, including payroll costs, rent, utilities, food and beverage expenses and other supplier costs, by March 11, 2023 are not required to be paid back.
Eligible applicants include restaurants, food stands, food trucks, bars, saloons, taverns, bakeries, wineries, breweries, inns, snack and non-alcoholic bars, and any other similar business that can demonstrate 33% in 2019 on-site food and drink sales to the public.
Government-owned establishments, businesses with more than 20 locations, recipients of the SBA Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program, or publicly-owned or traded companies are not eligible for the RRF.
While all eligible entities can now submit applications, priority distribution of RRF funds will be made within the first 21 days of the program, or through May 24, 2021, to small businesses with at least 41% ownership and control by individuals who are women, veterans, and/or socially and economically-disadvantaged. Thereafter, the SBA will distribute funds in the order in which applications are approved, until all $28.6 billion is distributed.
During the first two days of the program, the SBA received 186,200 applications from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and five U.S. territories. Of these applications, 97,600 applications came from women-owned businesses owned and controlled by women (46,400), veterans (4,200), socially and economically-disadvantaged individuals (30,800), or a combination thereof (16,200). 61,700 applications came from businesses with under $500,000 in annual pre-pandemic revenue.
Unlike the Payroll Protection Program, RRF applications are not processed through approved lenders, but directly through the SBA at www.restaurants.sba.gov
, telephonically at 844-279-8898, or through SBA Restaurant Partners listed at www.sba.gov/restaurants
. Applications will be processed within an average of 14 days, and the program will remain open until all funds are depleted.