RELIEF FOR RESTAURANTS

Restaurant Revitalization Fund

On March 11th, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan which includes $28.6 billion specifically for restaurants as part of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The fund will be administered by the US Small Business Administration (SBA). WRA is grateful to see a program that provides restaurant-specific relief that small and independent restaurants deserve after closures, increased costs and decreased revenues have threatened their ability to stay in business for nearly a year. The RRF reflects our year-long effort together to help restaurants in need and builds on other relief tools that have been provided.

Applications for Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants opened on Monday, May 3rd.

Restaurant operators are able to apply through the SBA RRF portal or through an SBA verified POS system.  

The applications will remain open until funding runs out.

As expected, the amount of need for Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants has been tremendous. Over 186K entities applied in the first 36 hours of RRF!

  • 186,200 restaurants, bars, and other eligible businesses in all 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
  • 97,600 applications 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 came from businesses with under $500,000 in annual pre-pandemic revenue, representing some of the smallest restaurants and bars in America.

Even if a restaurant doesn’t qualify for the 21-day priority group (businesses owned by individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged, women or veterans), it is recommended that they submit an application as soon as possible.

Many POS vendors may be able to assist with an RRF application through the SBA, regardless of whether they are a participating vendor. Restaurant operators should contact their POS vendor for possible assistance.

While the SBA encourages applicants to utilize their POS system if possible for an easier application process, applicants without access to point-of-sale service providers will still be able to submit their applications electronically or over the phone.

What to Expect Next

The Small Business Administration recently released tips for Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) applicants waiting for word on their grant submission. 

  1. SBA is reviewing and processing priority applications first during the initial 21 days (May 3 to May 24), and then all applications will be reviewed. Applicants under review status should not anticipate any outreach from the SBA during this period.
  2. To make any corrections following submission and before award funding, applicants must revisit the application portal or call the support hotline to submit the correction, new documentation, and initiate a restart of the timeline for review. If an applicant initiates a restart, it may take 14 days from the time of resubmission for SBA to finalize review. The SBA will not allow corrections to awards that have been paid to awardees.
  3. If the submitted application is successful, all applications enter “IRS verification.” No action is needed from applicants for this process, which simply allows the SBA to validate information. The process may take up to seven days. 
  4. An additional 4506T form submission is not required after applicant’s sign the application during the e-sign process.
  5. If you are entering a state in the address section(s) use the abbreviation in capital letters (e.g., PA, TX, ME, WA, etc.).
  6. Applicants can submit a message using the platform inbox for help when on the web portal.

SBA Portal for RRF Application

RRF info from the SBA

Sample Application from the SBA

RRF Guide from the SBA

NEW RRF Step by Step Guide from the National Restaurant Association

NEW RRF FAQ from the National Restaurant Association

National Restaurant Association Webinars

NOTE: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) confirmed on March 30 that applicants for the Restaurant Revitalization Grant (RRG) program will not need to register for a DUNS number or on SAM.gov. This is a change from early March, when it was expected that applications would require this process as they currently do under the Shuttered Venues Operators (SVO) grant program. The shift by SBA recognized the significant demand for the RRG program.

We have heard that some restaurants are being solicited by grant writers offering guidance on walking them through the grant process. We are confident that WRA and the National Restaurant Association are able to provide the necessary information and resources so that most operators should not feel the need to hire outside consultants to be able to successfully complete a Restaurant Revitalization Fund grant application.

Keep in mind that the release of information from the SBA, the administrator of the grants, is an ongoing process and changes are still occurring. WRA will continue to keep restaurant operators informed as more information becomes available. Check this page on our website for updates.

Questions? Email or call the Ask WRA Team at 608-270-9950

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Eligibility

Who’s In?

A restaurant, food stand, food truck, food cart, caterer, saloon, inn, tavern, bar, lounge, brewpub, tasting room, taproom, licensed facility or premise of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products, and other similar places where the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of being served food or drink.

Who’s Out?

Publicly-traded companies, restaurants with over 20 locations (together with affiliated businesses) regardless of multiple or different operating names, companies who have applied for a Shuttered Venue Operator grant, or a State or local government-operated business.

Strings Attached to Dollars - RRF vs PPP

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*Second Draw PPP expenses refer to forgivable expenses under SBA regulations. These expenses must adhere to a 60/40 payroll-to-nonpayroll expense formula during the covered period in order to be eligible for loan forgiveness. RRF regulations on expenses may be developed.

Disclaimer: Federal legislation is subject to change and this slide should not be used for or taken as for legal, financial, and/or business planning advice




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Remember, the Ink is Still Drying

Let’s Remember – The Ink Is Still Drying These Processes Are Not Guarantees and There Will Likely Be New Oversight

  1. Pause before signing up with any vendor who pledges they know how to shepherd a business through this process – it’s a new program led by an agency that has never done it based on similar rules no one has seen. 
  2. RRF will be a high-profile program with major regulatory and legislative scrutiny.
  3. Stay connected with the SBA website and application status at www.sba.gov and www.restaurantsact.com/rrf