One of the most talked about portions of the American Rescue Plan Act that was passed earlier this year is the $28.6 billion restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). It was created to help restaurants that experienced lost revenue due to mandatory COVID-19 shutdowns. Administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and similar to PPP loans, funds received are not required to be repaid as long as they are used for eligible expenses.
Officially launched on May 3, 2021, the first 21 days were set aside to prioritize applications from women, veterans and socially/economically disadvantaged individuals and $5 billion is allocated for entities with gross receipts less than $500,000 during 2019. On top of that, $500 million was allocated for applicants with 2019 gross receipts less than $50,000 and $4 billion for those with gross receipts between $500,000 and $1.5 million.
As predicted by Tom Bene, CEO of the National Restaurant Association, it is already running out of funds. In fact, the SBA reported on May 12 that restaurants, bars and other businesses that provide on-site food and drink have submitted 266,000 applications requesting a total of $65 billion, which is already more than twice the total amount allocated for the entire program. In the first few days, the SBA received:
- 13,114 applications from businesses with less than $50,000 in pre-pandemic revenue requesting $330 million in funds;
- 100,410 applications from businesses with less than $500,000 in pre-pandemic revenue requesting$8.14 billion in funds; and
- 61,535 applicants from businesses with between $500,000 and $1.5 million in pre-pandemic revenue requesting $15.1 billion in funds.
Unless Congress passes new legislation to add funding to the RRF, it looks like nearly all the money will go to those prioritized in the first 21 days, however the SBA is keeping the portal open since it hasn’t met the cap for those with less than $50,000 in 2019. We will keep you posted as new information becomes available, but at the moment, there is no talk of increased funding for the RRF.
You can apply for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund here (if there are any funds left). And if you have questions or need assistance in any way, feel free to reach out to us for help.