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$28.6 Billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund Open for Enrollment

May 3, 2021 by Reece Nations
Borrelli's Italian Restaurant in Uniondale, N.Y. (Photo by Dan McCue)

The Small Business Administration began accepting applications on Monday for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, a program authorized in March by the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act.

To receive funding, businesses must submit their application to the SBA on a first-come, first-served basis at restaurants.sba.gov. For the first 21 days of the program the SBA will accept submissions from all eligible applicants but will only process and fund applicants from “priority groups,” or small businesses that are owned by women, veterans, or the socially and economically disadvantaged. 

“After a challenging year for restaurants, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund will provide much-needed aid to help New York City’s food and service industry survive,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., said in a written statement. “This fund will provide billions in aid to restaurants, food trucks, caterers, and other business owners who have faced incredible challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. These businesses are vital to our city’s culture and economy and I encourage all those who are eligible to register today. Our city wouldn’t be the same without you.” 

Venues that have received a shuttered venue operators grant or that have permanently closed are ineligible to receive funding from the program. Similarly, venues that have already filed for bankruptcy are also ineligible. 

Of the $1.9 trillion in funds earmarked for relief in the last stimulus package, $28.6 billion has been designated for the SBA program. Although franchisees are eligible for the funds under the program, publicly traded companies are not. 

“Restaurants are the core of our neighborhoods and propel economic activity on main streets across the nation,” SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said in a written statement. “They are among the businesses that have been hardest hit and need support to survive this pandemic. We want restaurants to know that help is here.” 

Guzman continued, “The SBA has focused on the marketplace realities of our food and beverage businesses in designing the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to meet businesses where they are. And we are committed to equity to ensure our smaller and underserved businesses, which have suffered the most, can access this critical relief, recover, and grow more resilient.” 

Grants of up to $10 million are available to restaurants, bars, bakeries, and other hospitality businesses under the SBA program, although the amount of each business’s grant is determined by taking the difference between its 2019 and 2020 gross income receipts minus Paycheck Protection Program loan amounts. 

The program directs the SBA to allot $5 billion for food businesses earning less than $500,000 per year, $4 billion for mid-sized establishments earning between $501,000 to $1.5 million per year, and $500 million for smaller establishments making under $50,000 per year. 

“Upstate New York’s independent restaurants are cornerstones of our community, where we gather with friends and family and mark special occasions in our lives,” said Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-N.Y, in a written statement. “I’m proud that we passed direct relief for our small businesses and the people they employ as part of the American Rescue Plan. The comeback of our restaurant and hospitality businesses is an important key to a full recovery.”

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