By Pacific Island Times News Staff
SBA makes final push for Restaurant Revitalization Fund applications
Owners of dining and drinking establishments have until May 24 to submit their applications for the U.S. Small Business Administration's Restaurant Revitalization Fund, administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced today.
“If our nation’s food and beverage industry is going to fully recover, we must ensure as many of the hardest-hit businesses get the economic aid they need,” Guzman said. “We are committed to creating easy to navigate programs and removing barriers that have kept many of our nation’s smallest businesses from accessing these crucial economic lifelines."
The $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund signed into law by President Joe Biden established an initial $5 billion set-aside established by Congress for applicants with gross receipts not more than $500,000.
“The numbers speak to the commitment SBA made to educating owners and operators through their work with the Association, our state partners, and other industry support organizations,” said Tom Bené, president & CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “The funds that have already been distributed will help accelerate the recovery of thousands of restaurants and bring much-needed capital to communities across the country."
To further ensure an equitable distribution of funds, SBA created two additional funding allocations to ensure the smallest of the small restaurants and other eating establishments have equitable access: 1) $500 million for applicants with 2019 gross receipts not more than $50,000, and 2) $4 billion for applicants with 2019 gross receipts between $500,000 and $1,500,000.
In the first two weeks of the RRF program, and after 600 targeted community outreach events in multiple languages, SBA has received from priority groups:
12,898 applications from businesses with not more than $50,000 in pre-pandemic revenue requesting $290 million in funds
73,671 applications from businesses with not more than $500,000 in annual pre-pandemic revenue requesting $6.1 billion in funds
34,010 applications from businesses with $500,000 - $1,500,000 in annual pre-pandemic revenue requesting $8.4 billion in funds
Designed to ensure the smallest of small eating establishments get the relief needed, set-asides continue a commitment to an equitable distribution of funds to hard-hit communities.
Because SBA still has potential set-aside funding available for eligible establishments with 2019 annual revenue of not more than $50,000, it will keep the application portal open until Monday, May 24, 8 p.m. ET.
While all qualified restaurants may submit applications, more than $220 million of a $500 million set-aside remains in the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
Eligible establishments that meet this revenue standard are encouraged to apply through SBA-recognized point-of-sale vendors or directly via the SBA online application portal.
To date, the RRF program has received more than 303,000 applications representing over $69 billion in requested funds, and nearly 38,000 applicants have been approved for more than $6 billion. Of the overall submitted applications, 57 percent came from women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged business owners.