SBA Targets Early April Opening of Restaurant Revitalization Fund Application Process

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is targeting early April to launch a phased rollout of the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) that was established by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

The RRF was created to provide restaurants with grants equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss, up to $10 million per entity, or $5 million per physical location.

Restaurants and bars and other eligible businesses have been among the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, and there is a push to open the program quickly to get these businesses the relief they need.

The SBA plans to begin posting RRF information in the coming days, such as guidance and required documentation relevant to potential applicants. The program would then move to a pilot phase, and the program would begin accepting applications based on prioritization established in the ARPA, which sets aside $5 billion for the smallest applicants ($500,000 or less in 2019 gross receipts).  It also requires that during the first 21 days of the grants, the SBA prioritize applications from restaurants owned and operated or controlled by women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

After the prioritization/pilot phase, grants would become available more broadly.

The grant funds may be used to pay for the following eligible expenses:

  • Payroll costs;
  • Principal and interest payments on a mortgage, not including any prepayments on principal;
  • Rent payments, not including prepayments;
  • Utilities;
  • Maintenance expenses including construction to accommodate outdoor seating and walls, floods, deck surfaces, furniture, fixtures, and equipment;
  • Supplies including personal protective equipment and cleaning materials;
  • Food and beverage expenses within the eligible entity’s scope of normal business practice before the covered period, which runs from Feb. 15, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2021, or another date as determined by the SBA;
  • Covered supplier costs;
  • Operational expenses;
  • Paid sick leave; and
  • Any other expenses the SBA determines to be essential to maintaining the eligible entity.

For more information on the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, read our recent alert here.

We will continue to keep you informed as updates emerge.  Please contact your Sax advisor to assist you with the relevant paperwork needed to demonstrate your gross revenue loss in 2020 as compared to 2019.

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