Information in this article has been updated as of April 28, 2021.
The SBA will release the grant application on Friday, April 30, starting at 9:00 a.m. The SBA will begin accepting applications on Monday, May 3, at noon. Visit restaurants.sba.gov to apply.
The American Rescue Plan created the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide $28.6 billion in relief for small and mid-sized restaurants. The Fund grants will be distributed by the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Restaurants, bars and other food service businesses that receive grants through the relief package would not need to pay them back as long as they use the funds for essential operating expenses. Such expenses include payroll, mortgages, rent, utilities, and personal protection equipment.
Other entities eligible for support from the RRF include food stands, food trucks, food carts, caterers, saloons, inns, taverns, lounges, brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms, and licensed beverage alcohol producers where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products.
Grants will be equal to pandemic-related revenue losses of up to $10 million per entity or $5 million per physical location. The grants are calculated by subtracting 2020 revenue (and any PPP monies received) from 2019 revenue. Entities are limited to 20 locations.
The SBA will release the grant application on Friday, April 30. The SBA will begin accepting applications on Monday, May 3.
All eligible applicants should submit applications as soon as the portal opens. During the first 21 days of grants, the SBA will prioritize applications from women-, veteran- and minority-owned establishments. After the 21 days, eligible applications will be funded on a first-come-first-served basis.
As part of the program, $5 billion in funding will also be reserved for the smallest independent restaurants, which before COVID-19 earned $500,000 or less in a year.
Restaurant relief grants could be used for a variety of expenses, including:
- Payroll costs
- Principal and interest on a mortgage
- Rent payments, including rent on a lease agreement (not including prepayments)
- Maintenance, including new outdoor seating construction
- Supplies including PPE and cleaning materials
- Food and beverage inventory
- Covered supplier costs
- Operational expenses
- Paid sick leave
The covered period for what expenses can be paid by the grant must be incurred between February 15, 2020, to December 31, 2021.
Restaurant and bar owners can prepare now
Register for an account in advance at restaurants.sba.gov starting Friday, April 30, at 9 a.m. EDT. According to the SBA, if you are working with Square or Toast, you do not need to register beforehand on the application portal.
To assist you in the application process, refer to the following SBA resources:
It was previously reported that businesses planning to apply for the RRF grant would need to sign up for a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and register with the U.S. Federal Government’s System for Award Management (SAM). On March 30, 2021, the SBA confirmed that RRF grant program applicants will not need to register for a DUNS number or register on SAM.gov. This is a change from early March when it was expected that applications would require this process.
You should work with your accountant to prepare documentation that clearly shows your gross revenue loss in 2020 compared to 2019.
Contact your Yeo & Yeo professional if you have questions or need assistance.