Restaurants and bars are another step closer to getting financial help after experiencing devastating losses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The long-awaited opening of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund is now close finat hand. The U,S, Small Business Association has released some key details about the pandemic relief program for the restaurant industry.
The SBA just announced the official guidelines and application requirements for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund — $28.6 billion in funding through the American Rescue Plan. The SBA will administer funds to the “hardest-hit small restaurants” throughout the country.
In the first 21 days of the program launching, the SBA will prioritize applications from small businesses owned by women, veterans and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. After that time, all eligible applicants are encouraged to submit applications.
As described on the RRF’s details page, the program will provide restaurants with funding equal to pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business, and no more than $5 million per physical locations. Funding recipients will also not be required to repay the funding as long as funds are used by March 11, 2023.
This funding can be used for specific expenses such as:
- Business payroll costs, including sick leave
- Payment on any business mortgage obligation
- Business rent payment
- Business debt service, both principal and interest
- Business utility payments
- Business maintenance expenses
- Construction of outdoor seating
- Business supplies, including protective equipment and cleaning supplies
- Business food and beverage expenses, including raw materials
- Covered supplier costs
- Business operating expenses
Help is on the way, the SBA’s leader said.
“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,” sis SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “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.”
What happens from here?
According to the SBA, over the next two weeks, it will establish a seven-day pilot period for the RRF application portal and conduct outreach and training. The SBA stated that this pilot period will be used to address technical issues ahead of the application launch.
Adfter the pilot, the application portal will open to the public. The SBA confirmed that the first 21 days of the program will focus on small businesses owned by women, veterans and socially economically disadvantaged individuals.
After the 21 days, those entities that can apply include:
- Food stands, food trucks, food carts
- Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
- Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
- Bakeries: Onsite sales to the public comprise of a minimum of 33% gross receipts
- Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms: Onsite sales to the public comprise of a minimum of 33% gross receipts
- Wineries and distilleries: Onsite sales to the public comprise of a minimum of 33% gross receipts
- Inns: Onsite sales of food and beverages to the public comprise of a minimum of 33% gross receipts
- Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products
The official Small Business Administration Restaurant Revitalization Fund application launch date has not yet been announced.
Click here for full details on application requirements, eligibility, and program guide.