To begin the restaurant revitalization award portal application process, visit official site. This portal will help you calculate your eligible reward amount, monitor status, and interact with ASB. Read below for more information and a look at how it all came together.
After a year of heavy work by a group of independent restaurateurs, the money committed to the Federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund is ready to be used. The RRF provides financial relief to qualifying restaurants and related food and beverage service businesses with $ 28.6 billion in tax-free federal grants if their revenues in 2020 were less than their revenues in 2019. The SBA is the administrator of the RRF.
SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration began registrations on Friday, April 30, 2021 at 9 a.m. EDT and opened applications on Monday, May 3, 2021 at noon EDT on the portal of restaurant revitalization award. The online application will remain open to any qualifying institution until all funds are exhausted. There is also a telephone application portal at (844) 279-8898.
âRestaurants are at the heart of our neighborhoods and propel economic activity on the main streets of the country. They are among the hardest hit companies and need support to survive this pandemic. We want restaurants to know the help is there, âsaid Administrator Guzman. âThe SBA has focused on the market realities of our agri-food businesses by designing the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to respond to businesses where they are located. And we are committed to equity to ensure that our smaller, underserved businesses, which have suffered the most, can access this critical help, recover and become more resilient. “
Established as part of the US bailout and enacted by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund provides a total of $ 28.6 billion in direct relief funds to hard-hit restaurants and other food establishments who have experienced economic distress and significant operational losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their lost revenue from the pandemic of up to $ 10 million per business and no more than $ 5 million per physical location. Funds must be used for eligible expenses by March 11, 2023.
âRecognizing 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,â said Patrick Kelley, associate administrator of the SBA, Office of Capital Access. âFrom day one, we engaged with various stakeholders in the food industry community to ensure that we built and implemented the program fairly, quickly and efficiently.â
In preparation, the ASB recommends that eligible applicants familiarize themselves with the application process before visiting the Restaurant Revitalization Awards portal to ensure a smooth and efficient application experience, in particular by:
- Opening an account in advance at restaurants.sba.gov starting Friday, April 30, 2021 at 9 a.m. EDT.
- Review official guidelines, including the program guide, frequently asked questions, and a sample application.
- Prepare the required documentation.
- Work with a point-of-sale vendor or visit restaurants.sba.gov to submit a claim when the Restaurant Revitalization Rewards portal opens. [Note: If an applicant is working with a point-of-sale vendor, they do not need to register beforehand on the site.]
During the first 21 days of the program’s opening, the SBA will prioritize funding applications from businesses owned and controlled by women, veterans, and the socially and economically disadvantaged. All eligible applicants are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as the Restaurant Revitalization Awards portal opens. After the 21 days, all eligible requests will be funded on a first come, first served basis.
Many feel it was a connection to New York that is integral to the passing of the program. The Independent Restaurant Coalition was anchored by Manhattan chefs / restaurateurs including Amanda Cohen and Tom Colicchio. They spent countless hours pushing for the passage funding. Very early on, they found the support of Chuck Schumer (D-NY). With the election of Joe Biden to the presidency last November, Schumer rose to the post of Senate Majority Leader. This turned out to be vital to the cause as the IRC essentially had to resell the entire program a second time with the changes in Washington.
âIt was a long and difficult road, but we got there. We got there, âSchumer noted.
Most importantly, as a New Yorker with his understanding of the industry importing into New York City and the nation’s economy, he vowed to replenish the funding if it ran out as planned. . When it comes to securing the funds, Schumer is confident the process will go more smoothly than the first round of Paycheck Protection Program loans last April and says the Small Business Administration is ready to pull the money out. money quickly and fairly, while making the restaurant’s job easier. owners to apply.
Restaurants, food stalls, food trucks, food carts, caterers, saloons, inns, taverns, bars, lounges, bakeries, breweries, tasting rooms and taprooms that made at least a third of their income from the sale of food and drink consumed on site; facilities or licensed premises of liquor producers where the public can taste, taste or purchase products; and other similar places of business where the public or customers gather for the primary purpose of being served food or alcohol, will be eligible for the proceeds of the grant. Franchisees of franchise systems of more than 20 units are eligible if their franchisors are listed in the SBA franchise directory.
Companies not eligible for RRF relief include those that have closed permanently and those operating under bankruptcy protection without a submitted or approved reorganization plan, establishments owned by local and state governments, listed companies on the stock exchange, companies with more than 20 sites (including subsidiaries) as of March 13, 2020, and companies that have received grants under the Economic Assistance Act for small businesses, non-profit organizations and to sites in difficulty.
In accordance with the legislation and with the intention of Congress, the SBA continues to take steps to ensure the equitable distribution of relief, especially for smaller businesses, by creating a reserve of $ 9.5 billion: $ 5 billion. dollars for applicants whose 2019 gross receipts do not exceed $ 500,000; $ 4 billion is reserved for applicants with gross receipts in 2019 between $ 500,001 and $ 1,500,000; and $ 500 million for applicants whose gross receipts for 2019 do not exceed $ 50,000.
It’s also worth noting what types of establishments are not eligible when visiting the Restaurant Revitalization Awards portal. These include: permanently closed establishments, publicly traded companies (but franchisees are eligible) and sites that have received a grant from closed site operators or have an ongoing application. An entity that owns and operates with affiliated businesses over 20 locations, either under the same name or under multiple names. This should technically exclude some of the largest independent restaurant groups in the country.
The more interesting question is how restaurants can use the grant funds. They can be used for payroll (including health care), rent and utilities, mortgage bonds (including principal and interest), outdoor meals and other construction costs, costs vendors, operational expenses, paid sick leave and any other expenses that the SBA administrator “deems essential to maintaining the eligible entity,” according to the March stimulus bill. Restaurants will also be able to use funds to pay for expenses related to commercial credit cards, third-party delivery commissions, unpaid portions of PPP loans, propane for food trucks and insurance for food trucks, the SBA said at various town halls. week.
The inclusion of the mortgage principal is essential, as the PPP only allowed the payment of mortgage interest. This means that bars and restaurants finally have a way to pay off large, long-term debts, which they could have taken on long before the pandemic through kitchen renovations or initial constructions. Small operators who have exhausted their credit cards to the maximum will also be able to pay off this debt. âDon’t forget to prepare a promissory note,â noted Stacy Gilbert of Citrin Cooperman, “And personally repay what you have loaned to your business.” Supplier payments are another important inclusion, as restaurant closures and operating restrictions have wreaked havoc on vendors and other parts of the broader food supply chain.
To begin the restaurant revitalization award portal application process, visit official site.