The Small Business Administration’s website for Restaurant Revitalization Fund applications went live over the weekend, but the funding round has not yet begun. The website also includes a sample application and program guide for the RRF so operators can better prepare for submitting their application, which the SBA suggests operators do immediately on the first day applications go live since demand will likely outstrip first round funding availability.
“We’re focused on ensuring that the RRF program’s application process is streamlined and free of burdensome, bureaucratic hurdles – while still maintaining robust oversight,” SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said in a statement. “Under my leadership, the SBA aims to be as entrepreneurial as the entrepreneurs we serve – and that means meeting every small business where they are, and giving them the support they need to recover, rebuild and thrive.”
Required information and paperwork as detailed in the sample application includes:
- Tax identification numbers and banking information
- Ownership information
- Confirmation that your business is a restaurant, food truck/cart, caterer, bar/lounge, inn (with at least 33% of onsite food and beverage sales), brewery/taproom/microbrewery (with at least 33% of onsite food and beverage sales), snack bar, bakery (with at least 33% of onsite food and beverage sales), winery or distillery (with the same 33% onsite food and beverage sale requirement)
- If you are permanently closed (ineligible) or currently in bankruptcy (limited eligibility)
- How much you received for first and second-draw PPP loans
- If your business is franchise or has affiliated companies
- Different calculations for funding based on if you were in operation on or prior to Jan. 1, 2019, businesses that opened partway through 2019, and businesses that opened in 2020 through March 2021 or have not yet opened but have incurred expenses
- What your business will spend the funding on including payroll costs, rent/mortgage, debt, utilities, food and beverage supplies, maintenance, outdoor seating construction, business supplies, supplier costs, and operating expenses
- If your business is owned by one or more women, veteran or socially/economically disadvantaged individuals, with self-certification
According to the application, acceptable gross receipts for calculating the funding amount include business tax returns (IRS Form 1120 or IRS 1120-S), IRS Forms 1040 Schedule C, IRS Forms 1040 Schedule, and (if applicable) partnership’s IRS Form 1065, Bank statements, externally or internally prepared financial statements such as Income Statements or Profit and Loss Statements, and point of sale reports including IRS Form 1099-K.
Applicants that are a brewpub, tasting room, taproom, brewery, winery, distillery, or bakery are required to provide evidence that onsite food and beverage comprises of at least one-third of your total sales. Inns must provide the same evidence in addition to documentation that shows 33% of gross receipts for prior years in business.
The program guide just published by the SBA, meanwhile, answers questions and clears up information on who is eligible, how the calculation works, and how to get help filling it out.
More examples of ineligibility include government-operated businesses, businesses with more than 20 locations, received a shuttered venues operators grant or have a pending application for one, nonprofits and publicly traded companies.
Originally the SBA stated that applications would open sometime in April but that timeline has not been updated yet. Applicants will be able to apply at restaurants.SBA.gov, through a recognized SBA restaurant partner, or via telephone at (844) 279-8898. That hotline will also be used to answer applicant questions during the process.
The SBA also recently announced that over the next two weeks, ahead of the application launch, they will be running a pilot period to test technical issues with volunteer PPP applicants ahead of the launch.
Following the trial, the application will be open to the public and while all are welcome to apply, the SBA will be prioritizing businesses owned by women, veteran and socially and economically disadvantaged people for the first 21 days.
“In addition to historically having less operating liquidity and revenue than almost any other small business demographic, Black-owned restaurants received significantly less stimulus funding during the COVID-19 pandemic, heightening challenges and leading to disproportionate closures, Ron Busby, Sr., president and CEO of U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. said in a statement. “The USBC believes this initiative and collaboration with the SBA will bring needed resources and relief to these often-underserved businesses to aid in stabilization, recovery and ultimately, strengthen our economy.”
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