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Restaurant Revitalization Fund delivers support to restaurants through grants

Fund bringing much-needed $28.6B to restaurant operators

With the signing of the American Rescue Plan, restaurant operators will get much-needed support for their operations, according to the National Restaurant Association. Part of the Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden, includes the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), bringing $28.6B to the table to help the restaurant industry, which has seen a loss of $255B in sales and 110,000 restaurant closures.

Updated.

RRF grant award system

A main feature of the fund will be a new federal program for restaurant owners with 20 locations or less. Restaurant operators will be able to apply for tax-free grants of up to $5M per location—alternately, up to $10M total for multi-unit companies.

The Association called it “the most important recovery tool for the industry to date.”

“The creation of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund will be a catalyst to reviving restaurants and saving jobs across the country,” said Tom Bené, president and chief executive of the National Restaurant Association. “Our focus from the beginning of this crisis has been on ensuring that our favorite local restaurants could access the assistance they would need to survive.”

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Restaurant Revitalization Fund eligible expenses

These are the types of expenses for which restaurant operators will be able to use the funds:

  • mortgages or rent
  • utilities
  • supplies
  • food and beverage inventory
  • payroll
  • operational expenses

As a way of targeting smaller businesses, $5B will be set aside for restaurants with gross receipts of up to $500,000 during the first three weeks of the application period. The Small Business Administration will prioritize grant awards to restaurants owned by women, veterans, and owners who are socially or economically disadvantaged.

Added Bené, “We are still a long way from full recovery and it’s likely more grant money will be needed to get us there, but today the industry has hope for the future.”

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The Association also worked previously on improvements to the Paycheck Protection Program, which has offered more than $70 billion in support since its inception; the expansion of the Employee Retention Tax Credit; the extension of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit; and inclusion in the Economic Injury Disaster Loans program.

Owners and operators can access an overview of the RRF that has been provided by the Association.

Updated

According to the National Restaurant Association, the SBA has confirmed that applicants for RRF won’t need A DUNS number and don’t need to be registered on SAM.gov. The SBA”s shift on the matter is based on the expectation that there will be hundreds of thousands of applicants.

This is also a response to the National Restaurant Association and state and local partners who asked the SBA to streamline and simplify the application process to avoid administrative complexity.

Experts and senators expect the SBA to begin accepting applications in early April.

This article was updated with new information on April 11, 2021.

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