Restaurants can seek $29B in new federal aid starting Monday

Applications for up to $10 million from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund begin May 3, and operators can register ahead of time starting Friday.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Restaurant operators can apply on Monday for federal grants of up to $10 million from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced Tuesday.

Applications will continue to be accepted until the $28.6 billion allocated for the program are exhausted, the SBA said. Operators can register for grants ahead of time beginning this Friday. 

The agency had previously revealed that priority will be given for the first 21 days of the application process to businesses that are at least 51% owned by women, veterans and what “socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.” 

After that three-week period, all restaurants can apply for the grants. Under the program, a restaurant can apply for up to $5 million per location or $10 million in total for multi-unit operations.

The money can be spent on most normal restaurant operating expenses, including rent, payroll, food supplies and non-alcoholic beverages. The funds must be used before March 11, 2023.

The eligibility amount is determined by subtracting a business’ 2020 revenues from the figures for 2019. Paycheck Protection Program funds are also subtracted from the 2019 base figure. A slightly different formula is used for restaurants that opened during 2019 or after the first quarter of 2020.

The SBA is conducting three webinars today and tomorrow to help restaurateurs navigate the program. More information is available here.

Restaurants can register with the SBA here in advance of submitting an application. The registration portal opens at 9 a.m. 'EDT on Friday. Applications will be fielded starting at noon EDT on Monday.

A unique feature of the plan is its use of POS systems to generate information needed in the application and grants program.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund was created as part of the American Rescue Plan specifically to help restaurants, one of the industries that were most impacted by the pandemic.

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