BRAC’s April 19 COVID Brief: Massive new grant program to help save restaurants and bars

There is good news coming soon for restaurant and bar owners, caterers, and similar businesses that have been walloped by the pandemic. The American Rescue Plan funded a new program called the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). Although you can’t apply yet, a detailed guide of the new program was released Friday, April 17. Once SBA starts accepting applications, it will provide funding to help restaurants, bars, and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. In short, the program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. These businesses are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.
Key details to understand include: There are a broad category of the types of businesses that are eligible as “restaurants” including bars, caterers, brewpubs, and food trucks. Read the list here. You can’t apply yet but applicants are encouraged to get ready. The portal will be tested first over the next two weeks, then opened for 21 days when the SBA will prioritize applications from owners representing women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. The benefits apply to businesses in operation for all of 2019, part of 2019, or that started in 2020 or early 2021. Instructions on the calculation of benefits are here. This new grant can’t duplicate the money received from a PPP loan or other grants, but can supplement it for anywhere from $1,000 to $5M.There are set asides for restaurants of different sizes, determined by annual revenue amount. The full program guide is available as a PDF online here and the sample application is online here. You can review how this cross-eligibility works with other programs here.
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