COVID Relief for Restaurants and Bars: How to Apply



A sign announces the opening of a restaurant on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 in Santa Monica, California.  Restaurants, bars and other businesses can now apply for federal help against COVID-19 to help

A sign announces the opening of a restaurant on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 in Santa Monica, California. Restaurants, bars and other businesses can now apply for federal help against COVID-19 to help “keep their doors open.” (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)


As of Monday, eligible businesses can apply for federal help against COVID-19 through the $ 28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund, or RRF, established by the $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package. dollars signed in March.

Here’s what you need to know and how to apply.

What is the RRF?

The program, included in the American Rescue Plan, provides grants to help restaurants, bars, and other food or beverage businesses “keep their doors open,” according to the Small Business Administration.

It will provide businesses with funding equal to their revenue lost due to the pandemic – including up to $ 10 million per business and up to $ 5 million per physical location. The minimum grant is $ 1,000.

“Recipients are not required to repay funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses by March 11, 2023,” the SBA says.

The funds can be used to cover salary expenses, mortgage or rent costs, utility payments, maintenance costs, construction of outdoor seating, supplies, food and drink costs, expenses. operating expenses and commercial debt service.

Who is eligible?

Some businesses that have suffered revenue losses related to the coronavirus pandemic may be eligible, including:

â–ª Restaurants

â–ª Bars

â–ª Breweries, wineries, distilleries, tasting rooms and tea rooms with on-site sales that represent at least 33% of their gross receipts.

â–ª Food stands, carts and trucks

â–ª Snack and “soft drink bars”

â–ª Caterers

â–ª Bakeries with on-site sales to the public that represent at least 33% of gross receipts.

â–ª Hostels with on-site food and beverage sales that account for at least 33% of gross revenue

â–ª Licensed facilities of a “producer of alcoholic beverages where the public can taste, taste or purchase products”

How to register

Businesses can apply through “SBA Recognized Point of Sale (POS) vendors” or directly through the online portal.

An example of an application form can be found here. Some businesses will need to open an account in advance.

Applicants will need a completed and signed IRS 4506-T form and raw receipt documentation. Businesses that make on-site sales that represent 33% of their gross revenue will need to have documentation proving that they meet the requirement.

How it works

The SBA will accept all applications starting Monday, but will only process “priority group applications” during the first 21 days of application opening.

These are businesses that are at least 51% owned by women, veterans, people “subject to racial or ethnic or cultural prejudice” and people with “the ability to compete in the field. free enterprise system has been compromised due to shrinking capital and credit possibilities. compared to others in the same industry. “

After 21 days, the ASB will process the requests in the order in which they are approved.

“The online application will remain open to any qualifying institution until all funds are exhausted,” says the SBA.

The SBA has set aside $ 4 billion for applicants with 2019 gross receipts between $ 500,001 and $ 1.5 million; $ 5 billion for applicants whose gross receipts in 2019 do not exceed $ 500,000; and $ 500 million for applicants whose gross receipts for 2019 do not exceed $ 50,000.

How funding is determined

Calculations will vary depending on how long a business has been open.

â–ª For businesses opened before or on January 1, 2019, payments are calculated based on their 2019 gross receipts minus 2020 gross receipts and all Paycheck Protection Program loans.

▪ Applicants who have “partially started their activities until 2019” will have their payments calculated by subtracting their 2020 gross receipts and PPP loans from their 2019 average monthly gross receipts multiplied by 12.

▪ For businesses that opened between January 1, 2020 and March 10, 2021 and businesses that did not open but paid qualifying expenses, the SBA will calculate the payments by subtracting their 2020 gross revenue, 2021 gross revenue, and PPP loan amounts from what they spent in “eligible expenses between February 15, 2020 and March 11, 2021”.

Why is this important

Restaurants, bars and other businesses have been hit hard by COVID-19, as many were forced to close or limit their operations and services at the start of the pandemic.

The Independent Restaurant Coalition estimates that nearly half of the restaurant industry lost their jobs in the first six weeks of the pandemic.

As of December 1, more than 110,000 “places to eat and drink” were closed temporarily or permanently, according to a January report from the National Restaurant Association.

“Recognizing the urgency of helping restaurants keep their doors open – and with a clear mandate from Congress – the SBA has been working at breakneck speed and is delighted to launch this program,” said Patrick Kelley, associate administrator of the SBA, Office of Capital Access. in a report.

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Bailey Aldridge is a reporter who covers real-time news in North Carolina and South Carolina. She graduated in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.



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