SBA announces $2.7B RRF grant funds disbursed, more than $23B requested

147,000 applications received from women, veterans and disadvantaged groups

The Small Business Administration announced that $2.7B in Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants have already been disbursed and reported that more than $23B has been requested thus far. A total of 21,000 restaurants have received funding since the application process opened on May 3, 2021 for the $28.6B relief program.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) received 147,000 applications from women, veterans and economically- and socially-disadvantaged restaurant and bar owners. These applications are being prioritized during the initial 21 days of applications.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, commented, “The numbers show that we’ve been particularly successful at reaching the smallest restaurants and underserved communities that have struggled to access relief. These businesses are the pillars of our nation’s neighborhoods and communities. We are making progress, but we have much more work to do as we continue reaching our underserved entrepreneurs.”

Specialized funding allocations were created to ensure the smallest of the small restaurants and other eating establishments, such as food trucks and carts, get the help they need. Under Administrator Guzman,

  • $500 million was set aside for applicants with 2019 gross receipts less than $50,000
  • $4 billion was earmarked for applicants with 2019 gross receipts between $500,000 and $1,500,000.

During the first two days of RRF application processing, the SBA received

  • 13,114 applications from businesses with under $50,000 in pre-pandemic revenue requesting $330 million in funds (and there is still an allocation left for these businesses to continue applying
  • 100,410 applications from businesses with under $500,000 in annual pre-pandemic revenue requesting $8.14 billion in funds
  • 61,535 applicants from businesses with $500,000 – $1,500,000 in annual pre-pandemic revenue requesting $15.1 billion in funds

“Awarding grants within a week of restaurants and bars applying demonstrates SBA’s steadfast commitment to getting people the help they need as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Erika Polmar, executive director of the Independent Restaurant Coalition.

Based on the total applications submitted, funds in the RRF program will run out soon. Of course, some applications submitted may not be approved, so that may be a lifeline for operators who are still applying over the next few days. Already, the National Restaurant Association has begun an advocacy program to push for additional RRF funding. The Association’s Sean Kennedy, executive vice president for public affairs, has take point on the matter.

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