The Restaurant Revitalization Fund, part of the American Rescue Plan Act, will provide $28.6 billion in grants to restaurants and bars in need. This fund will offer grants to hard-hit restaurants and bars, with restaurants able to apply for grants based on lost revenue. Five billion dollars of that total will be set aside expressly for businesses with 2019 gross receipts of less than $500,000.
Funds may be used to pay for the following expenses incurred between February 15, 2020, to December 31, 2021:
- payroll costs
- principal and interest payments on a mortgage, not including any prepayments on principal
- rent payments, not including prepayments
- 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
- any other expenses the SBA determines to be essential to maintaining the eligible entity
Most American restaurants and bars that lost revenue in 2020 versus 2019 will be eligible to apply for grants. These types are eligible:
- food stand
- food truck
- food cart
- tasting room
- licensed facility or premise of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products
These are not eligible:
- any restaurant or bar that is part of a publicly-traded company
- any restaurant owned by a state or local government
- owners that operate more than 20 restaurants (if you are the owner of a franchise and you do not control more than 20 locations, you are likely eligible to apply)
How to apply
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is targeting early April to launch a phased rollout. Steps to get prepared:
- Make sure you are registered with the government using the System of Award Management (SAM). You will need to get a DUNS number. The DUNS number assignment is free, but it is required for all businesses who want federal contracts or grants. It typically takes 1-2 days to process.
- Work with an accountant to prepare paperwork that clearly shows your gross revenue loss in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Keep checking SBA’s COVID-19 relief options web portal for upcoming instructions from the SBA.