During the COVID-19 shutdown, many restaurants we frequented pre-pandemic adapted to new business models by meeting demand with drive-through, curb-side pick-up, and delivery, among others. Then with reopening, many transitioned a portion of their parking lot to outdoor dining. As states and municipalities adjusted to the reality of the pandemic, so too did restaurants. Though not all were able to adapt accordingly or faced other issues that forced them to shut down. The September 2020 Yelp: Local Economic Impact Report reflects that restaurants were the hardest hit by the pandemic with some 32,109 restaurant closures between March and August 31, with 61% reported as permanently closed. The National Restaurant Association reports that 110,000 eating and drinking establishments closed as of December 1, 2020. Employing 12.5 million people, with 9 in 10 restaurants employing fewer than 50 people, many of these establishments remain vulnerable to the long-term economic recovery from the pandemic. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund is long awaited help for one of America’s hardest hit industries.
As part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act signed into law on March 11, 2021, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund allocates $28.6 billion in financial assistance to help restaurants and other eligible businesses stay open.
Restaurant Revitalization Fund Application Period
Registration for the SBA application portal began Friday, April 30 at 9 AM ET. The application for grants in the priority period opens at noon on Monday, May 3. Recipients may qualify for up to $5 million per location not to exceed $10 million total for the applicant and any affiliated businesses with the minimum award being $1,000.
The program includes the following set asides:
- $5 billion in set asides for applicants with 2019 gross receipts of no more than $500,000,
- $4 billion for applicants with 2019 gross receipts between $500,001 and,
- $1,500,000, and $500 million for applicants with 2019 gross receipt of not more than $50,000.
Priority Period (Days 1-21) – SBA will accept applications from all eligible applicants, but only process and fund priority group applications.
Open to all Groups (Day 22 through funds exhaustion) – SBA will accept applications from all eligible applicants and process applications in the order in which they are approved by SBA.
A small business concern that is at least 51 percent owned by one or more individuals who are:
Applicants must self-certify on the application that they meet eligibility requirements
Applying for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund
Eligible businesses can apply through the SBA Restaurant Revitalization Award Portal or through an SBA-recognized Point of Sales (POS) vendor. Participating POS providers include Square, Toast, Clover, NCR Corporation (Aloha). Registration with SAM.gov is not required and neither is a DUNS or CAGE number.
Documents required to apply include the application (SBA Form 3172), tax verification (IRS Form 4506-T), and gross receipts documentation. For applicants that are a brewpub, tasting room, taproom, brewery, winery, distillery, or bakery, documentation is required showing onsite sales to the public of at least 33% of gross receipts.
In addition to gathering required documents, you can prepare for the application process by visiting the sample application form.
Restaurant Revitalization Fund Eligibility
The SBA identifies eligible entities as “businesses that are not permanently closed and include businesses where the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of being served food or drink.”
- Restaurants (full-service and limited-service)
- Food stands, food trucks, food carts
- Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
- Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars (e.g., coffee shops, ice cream shops)
Also included in eligible entities are the following businesses where onsite sales to the public make up at least 33% of gross receipts:
- Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms
- Breweries and/or microbreweries
- Wineries and distilleries
- Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products
Eligibility extends to franchises who meet all program requirements and all other forms of company organizations with the exception of publicly traded companies.
Businesses not eligible include state or local government-operated businesses, businesses with more than 20 locations, with a pending application or recipient of a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, is permanently closed, is a non-profit organization, or not eligible for funding of at least $1,000. An eligible business may qualify for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan and a Restaurant Revitalization Fund grant; however, the grant amount will be reduced by the PPP loan amount received.
Already in business or thinking about starting your own small business? Check out our various small business resources:
- View our COVID-19 Resources here: COVID-19 Small Business Resources and COVID-19 Industry Resources
- View more small business help topics here: Small Business Information Center
- View business reports here: Small Business Snapshots
- View industry-specific research here: Market Research Links
Remember, you can also receive free professional business advice and free or low-cost business training from your local Small Business Development Center!
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