U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Isabel Guzman has announced the closure of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) program, signed into law by President Joe Biden as part of the American Rescue Plan. The program provided much needed economic aid to restaurants and other establishments struggling to make ends meet as a result of the pandemic.
“The $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund provided desperately needed relief to more than 100,000 restaurants and other food and beverage businesses across the nation with significant funding going to our hardest-hit, underserved businesses,” said Administrator Guzman. “Restaurants are at the center of our neighborhoods and propel economic activity on Main Streets. As among the first to close in this pandemic and likely the last to reopen, many are still struggling to survive. The SBA will continue to work hard to ensure they get the resources they need to recover, rebuild and be resilient.”
As of June 30, 2021, the RRF program received more than 278,000 submitted eligible applications representing over $72.2 billion in requested funds, and approximately 101,000 applicants have been approved to restaurants, bars and other restaurant-type businesses. Underserved populations received approximately $18 billion in grant awards including: Women-owned businesses, $7.5 billion; Veteran-owned businesses, $1 billion; Social and economically disadvantaged-owned businesses, $6.7 billion; Businesses owned by representatives of multiple underserved populations, $2.8 billion.
The remainder of the $28.6 billion was awarded to eligible applicants not identified as part of an underserved group.
The average size of grant awards to applicants was $283K:
• 2.2 percent of approved dollars for $50K and Under
• 4.9 percent of approved dollars for $50K - $100K
• 5.6 percent of approved dollars for $100K - $150K
• 21.2 percent of approved dollars for $150K - $350K
• 27.2 percent of approved dollars for $350K - $1M
• 16.4 percent of approved dollars for $1M - $2M
• 18.0 percent of approved dollars for $2M - $5M
• 4.6 percent of approved dollars for $5M - $10M
As outlined by Congress, restaurants and bars were 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 were available for certain eligible uses, like payroll and rent.
The Restaurant Revitalization Fund application platform will remain open briefly to allow applicants to check their status, address payment corrections, or ask questions. The SBA will disable access to the platform on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.
With the closure of the RRF, the SBA will continue to deliver economic aid to help small businesses recover with critical relief through programs such as the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), Targeted EIDL Advance and Supplemental Targeted Advance and the Community Navigator Program. For additional information on SBA’s Economic Relief programs, visit COVID-19 relief options (sba.gov).