WASHINGTON – Eligible restaurant owners have until Monday, May 24 at 8 p.m. ET to submit applications to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
“If our nation’s food and beverage industry is going to fully recover, we must ensure as many of the hardest-hit businesses get the economic aid they need,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “We are committed to creating easy to navigate programs and removing barriers that have kept many of our nation’s smallest businesses from accessing these crucial economic lifelines. The SBA will continue to be as entrepreneurial as the small businesses we serve, and we will continue to work as fast as possible to deliver the relief our businesses need so urgently.”
The $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund, signed into law by President Joe Biden as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, established an initial $5 billion set-aside for applicants with gross receipts not more than $500,000. To further ensure an equitable distribution of funds, Guzman created two additional funding allocations to ensure the smallest of the small restaurants and other eating establishments have equitable access.
The fund provides $500 million for applicants with 2019 gross receipts not more than $50,000 and $4 billion for applicants with 2019 gross receipts between $500,000 and $1,500,000.
The program opened for applications May 1. In the first two weeks of the RRF program, and after 600 targeted community outreach events in multiple languages, SBA received from priority groups:
- 12,898 applications from businesses with not more than $50,000 in pre-pandemic revenue requesting $290 million in funds
- 73,671 applications from businesses with not more than $500,000 in annual pre-pandemic revenue requesting $6.1 billion in funds
- 34,010 applications from businesses with $500,000 – $1,500,000 in annual pre-pandemic revenue requesting $8.4 billion in funds
Designed to ensure the smallest of small eating establishments get the relief needed, set-asides continue a commitment to an equitable distribution of funds to hard-hit communities. Because the SBA still has potential set-aside funding available for eligible establishments with 2019 annual revenue of not more than $50,000, it will keep the application portal open until Monday, May 24, 8 p.m. ET.
While all qualified restaurants may submit applications, more than $220 million of a $500 million set-aside remains in the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). Eligible establishments that meet this revenue standard are encouraged to apply through SBA-recognized point-of-sale vendors or directly via the SBA online application portal.
To date the RRF program has received more than 303,000 applications representing over $69 billion in requested funds, and nearly 38,000 applicants have been approved for more than $6 billion. Of the overall submitted applications, 57% came from women, veterans and socially and economically disadvantaged business owners. During the first two weeks of the program, SBA has received applications from:
- More than 122,000 women business owners
- More than 14,000 veteran business owners
- More than 71,000 economically and socially disadvantaged individuals
For those interested in applying to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration website.