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Relief Aid for Hard-Hit Restaurant Industry is Here

restaurant table

Restaurants play such a significant role in our lives, communities, and economy. The food and beverage service industry has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has developed the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), a program that allocates $28.6 billion to aid hurting restaurants, bars, and other qualifying businesses. Beginning May 3, 2021, businesses can submit their application through the SBA portal: https://restaurants.sba.gov or via a SBA-recognized Point of Sale (POS) vendor. During the first 21 days of the program, the SBA is prioritizing applications from women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

The RRF program provides grants to establishments such as restaurants, food trucks, caterers, bars, snack bars, food carts, bakeries, wineries, breweries, and inns. Eligible businesses will receive funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. The minimum award is $1,000. Restaurant groups with more than 20 locations and publicly traded companies are not eligible. Funds must be used for allowable expenses by March 11, 2023. Any remaining funds not used by that deadline will need to be returned.

What Do Applicants Need to Apply

Businesses will need to demonstrate how much financial loss they’ve incurred since the pandemic hit. To do so all applicants need to submit the following documents:

  • Application (SBA Form 3172).
  • Verification for Tax Information (IRS Form 4506-T) completed, initialed, and signed.
  • Gross Receipts Documentation*, which can include any of the following documents demonstrating gross receipts and, if applicable, eligible expenses:
    • Business tax returns (IRS Form 1120 or IRS Form 1120-S);
    •  IRS Form1040 Schedule C; IRS Form 1040 Schedule F;
    • For a partnership, partnerships IRS Form 1065 (including K-1s);
    • Bank statements;
    •  Externally or internally prepared financial statements such as Income Statements or Profit and Loss Statements;
    • Point of sale report(s), including IRS Form 1099-K.

Specific documentation needs to be submitted for some sectors, such as breweries, wineries, and inns.

*Gross receipts do not include amounts received from Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), advances on EIDL, state and local grants (via CARES Act or otherwise), or SBA Section 1112 payments.

How the Funds Can Be Used

RRF grants may only be used for specific expenses including:

  • Payroll costs
  • Business mortgage and rent payments
  • Utilities
  • Operational expenses
  • Maintenance costs
  • Supplies, including PPE and sanitation materials
  • Construction of outdoor seating
  • Covered supplier costs
  • Food and beverage expenses
  • Business debt, including principal and interest

Help is Available

Businesses that believe they are eligible for RRF grant funds should register with the SBA at restaurants.sba.gov and review the program guidelines. The SBA also has published videos to help applicants through the application process. Applicants can contact the SBA call center hotline at (844) 279-8898 or the local SBA District Office by visiting sba.gov/local-assistance.

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About Business Consumer Alliance Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) is a non-profit company that started in 1928. The broad purpose of BCA is to promote business self-regulation. BCA's mission is achieved by assisting consumers in resolving complaints with businesses and using that complaint information, along with other relevant information such as customer reviews, to forecast business reliability. With community support, BCA can identify trustworthy and ethical businesses and warn the public to avoid unscrupulous businesses whose purpose is to defraud the marketplace. BCA also helps businesses promote themselves by providing services and tools to protect their business and reach out to their customers. BCA obtains its funding from member businesses who support the mission and purpose of the organization and who agree to abide by high standards of ethical business practices.