Applications opening for $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The U.S. Small Business Administration on Tuesday, April 27, announced that it will begin registrations at 8 a.m. Friday and open applications at 11 a.m. Monday, May 3 for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, an federal effort to help restaurants across the country hit by COVID-19.
“Established under the American Rescue Plan, and signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund provides more $28.6 billion in direct relief funds to restaurants and other hard-hit food establishments that have experienced economic distress and significant operational losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the SBA explained. “This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Funds must be used for allowable expenses by March 11, 2023.”
The online application will remain open to any eligible establishment until all funds are exhausted, the SBA said. For the first 21 days that the program is open, the SBA said it will prioritize businesses owned and controlled by women, veterans and people who are socially and economically disadvantaged. After the 21 days, all eligible applications will be funded on a first come, first-served basis, the SBA explained.
“Restaurants are the core of our neighborhoods and propel economic activity on main streets across the nation. They are among the businesses that have been hardest hit and need support to survive this pandemic. We want restaurants to know that help is here,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “The SBA has focused on the marketplace realities of our food and beverage businesses in designing the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to meet businesses where they are. And we are committed to equity to ensure our smaller and underserved businesses, which have suffered the most, can access this critical relief, recover, and grow more resilient.”
The $28.6 billion in grants is expected to help many small businesses. “The first priority out of that (relief) is to realy help to really small restaurants, food trucks, caterers, other food and beverage providers,” local SBA director Wayne Bell explained.
An-Ex Bar and Grill owner Wade Richards, a retired veteran said he opened his business in March 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic reached the point that businesses like his had to close.
“When I was looking at places, the virus wasn’t even a small thought,” he said. “Then all of a sudden, I sign the lease and bam, we’re closed.”
Because his business had just opened, Richards wasn’t able to get any help in the last year. But he has hope with the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. While he hopes to get some relief, he said he’ll do what he can to stay open, either way.
“I’m a veteran and I know what it’s like to struggle,” he said. “I’ve been there. I just keep fighting back, ain’t going to let it bring me down. I do what I can.”
For more information on the Restaurant Relief Fund, visit sba.gov/restaurants or in Spanish at sba.gov/restaurantes. On Friday afternoon, there will also be a webinar for restaurant owners to learn more about the program and how they might benefit from the available funding.
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