Restaurateurs have been among the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. To help the restaurant industry recover, the American Rescue Plan established a $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) at the Small Business Association (SBA).
The SBA has subsequently announced key details on application requirements, eligibility, and a program guide for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). Funds will be administered by the SBA to small restaurants in the US that have been most heavily impacted by the pandemic.
SBA Announces Rules, Applications for Restaurant Revitalization Fund
The full-scale of the detriment caused by the pandemic on the restaurant industry in the US was shown by the National Restaurant Association, which, in December 2020, urged lawmakers to continue the coronavirus relief package to help protect the sector. The Association cited the results of a survey of 6,000 restaurant operators which showed 87% of full-service restaurants reported an average 36% drop in sales. The survey also revealed that 10,000 restaurants had closed across the nation in the three months leading up to December 2020.
Given the scale of destruction the sector is fighting, in providing emergency assistance for eligible restaurants and bars, the RRF could be a much-needed lifeline for many businesses.
SBA Administrator, Isabella Casillas Guzman, commented on how the RRF will help restaurants currently struggling to stay afloat: “Today, 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. 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.
“And, thanks to clear directives from Congress, we’re rolling out this program to make sure that these businesses can meet payroll, purchase supplies, and get what they need in place to transition to today’s COVID-restricted marketplace.”
Funding Equal to Pandemic-Related Revenue Loss
The program will provide funding to restaurants that is equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss. The funding will be up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location.
The application process for the RRF is deliberately streamlined and, according to Administrator Guzman, “free of burdensome, bureaucratic hurdles.”
The SBA crafted the guidelines for the program after collaborating with independent restaurant and bar operators in the US.
Restaurant and bar operators that may be eligible for the relief program are urged to apply so they get vital financial assistance to help them recover and rebuild. Details on application requirements, eligibility and program guidance for the RRF can be found here.