There is still no specified release date for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund grant applications, Small Business Administration associate administrator Patrick Kelley said in a Q&A with the Independent Restaurant Coalition on Tuesday. But Kelley revealed some important details operators need to know about where and how to apply when applications go live. The web application will be available at restaurants.sba.gov (though that link is not live yet) and the applications are “on the precipice of opening,” he said, though would not commit to a date.
“We are in the final stages of working across the government with different interested parties to make sure everyone feels confident in this program and so we get the money out the door fast and responsibly,” Kelley said. “We have people working on it night and day.”
Here are some details the SBA revealed in this Q&A:
There will be a pilot period: The SBA will be randomly selecting volunteers that have previously applied for PPP loans and self-identified as a woman, veteran and/or person of color to participate in a seven-day trial period prior to launch. These volunteers will not receive funds and will instead troubleshoot the process.
What the timeline will look like: Two weeks after applications with supplementary materials are posted on restaurants.sba.gov (including the trial period), they will begin distributing funds. Applications will be posted “we hope, shortly.”
Not everyone will get money, even if they’re eligible: Unfortunately, Kelley said, the voted-on funding is not enough to meet the demand of the industry and many eligible applicants will not be able to receive funding due to shortages of cash and high demand. Due to this demand, Kelley is strongly recommending operators apply on the first day. If Congress sees that there is high demand, he said, there could be another round of funding.
There are funds set aside for different revenue groupings: The current statute calls for $5 billion set aside for applicants with 2019 gross receipts of no more than $500,000. The fund also has $500 million in grants set aside for gross receipts of not more than $50,000 (“the smallest of the small”). There will also be $4 billion billion set aside for applicants with 2019 gross receipts of between $500,000 and $1.5 million.
Applications will be able to synch with POS systems: The SBA is publishing an application program interface for the application to be embedded in POS systems like Square, Clover, Aloha, and Toast, where operators will be able to use that to submit applications. Applications will also be available telephonically.
For more information on RRF eligibility, documents applicants need to have on hand and how grants are calculated, check out the recent Q&A published by the National Restaurant Association.
Contact Joanna at [email protected]
Find her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi