From CNN – “President Joe Biden on Wednesday promoted the newly launched Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which was established to help struggling restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Restaurants are more than a major driver of our economy, they’re woven into the fabric of our communities,” Biden said in a speech at the White House. The President continued: “And so for many families, restaurants are the gateway to opportunity, a key part of the American story.”
“There are families of all races, all ethnic backgrounds, all nationalities in this country who have built their American dream around a family, a family-owned restaurant,” he said. “And for more workers their own story of economic progress starts in a restaurant.”
Biden said nearly one in three Americans worked at restaurants for their first jobs, and that more than half of all Americans have worked at restaurants at some point in their lives.
Before the coronavirus pandemic shut businesses across the country, restaurants and bars employed 12% of all workers in the US, Biden said. The President said the industry provided more opportunities for minority managers than any other in the US.

In the first two days of the RRF application window, the SBA has received:

  • 186,200 applications from restaurants, bars, and other eligible businesses in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and five U.S. Territories.
  • 97,600 applications of which came from restaurants, bars, and other eligible businesses owned and controlled by women (46,400), veterans (4,200), socially and economically disadvantaged individuals (30,800), or some combination of the three (16,200).
  • 61,700 applications from businesses with under $500,000 in annual pre-pandemic revenue, representing some of the smallest restaurants and bars in America.

As outlined by Congress, restaurants and bars are eligible for economic aid equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss, with a cap of $10 million per business and $5 million per location. The funds are available for certain eligible uses, like payroll and rent.

While all qualified businesses are allowed to apply, under the law, the SBA will prioritize RRF applications from small business concerns owned and controlled by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals for the first 21 days of the program. Following the 21-day period, all eligible applications will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis.

To further ensure the equitable distribution of relief, $9.5 billion in set-asides have been established for the smallest restaurants and bars – including millions of dollars for restaurants, bars, and food trucks with under $50,000 in revenue.

Approved applicants should expect an average of 14 days for processing, review, approval and funds distribution. Those interested in applying to the program should visit sba.gov/restaurants for sample application, program guide, and more.  The application window will remain open until RRF funds have been fully exhausted.