The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has set Friday, April 30, 2021 at 9:00 am ET to begin registration for the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). Application submissions will be accepted beginning Monday, May 3, 2021 at 12:00 pm ET. As you may know, restaurants and bars have been among the hardest hit businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The SBA is deploying hundreds of thousands of grants to restaurants, bars, etc. RRF information including qualifications, instructions and guidance for those interested in apply can be found [here]. Eligibility will be on a first come first-serve basis. However, for the first 21 days of the program, the SBA will be reviewing applications and prioritizing grants from small businesses at least 51% owned by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Restaurants are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible. The RRF will award restaurants with grants equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss, up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location.
What expenses are eligible to be paid using grant funds?
The grant funds may be used to pay for the following expenses:
- Business payroll costs (including sick leave)
- Payments on any business mortgage obligation
- Business rent payments (note: this does not include prepayment of rent)
- Business debt service (both principal and interest; note: this does not include any prepayment of principal or interest)
- Business utility payments
- Business maintenance expenses
- Construction of outdoor seating
- Business supplies (including protective equipment and cleaning materials)
- Business food and beverage expenses (including raw materials)
- Covered supplier costs
- Business operating expenses
Who is Eligible?
Under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 the following are eligible under the broad term Restaurants:
- Food stands, food trucks or food carts
- Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
- Bakeries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
- Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
- Breweries and/or microbreweries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
- Inns (onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
- Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products
How to apply
Eligible businesses can apply through SBA-recognized Point of Sale (POS) vendors (i.e. Square, Toast, Clover, NCR Corporation (Aloha)). You may also apply directly through SBA using a soon-to-be-released online application portal: https://restaurants.sba.gov. If an applicant is working with a POS vendor, they do not need to register beforehand on the application portal. A sample application can be found [here] if you would like to prepare it ahead of time, although you will be able to compete it online when available.
Visit the SBA funding program web page for more details, including the RRF Program Guide, cross-program eligibility, documentation required and links to help with your application.