According to the latest data from the Small Business Administration, they have already received 147,000 applications from priority groups (for the first 21 days, women, veterans, and people in socially and economically disadvantaged groups are being prioritized), requesting a total of $29 billion in funds.
While initially President Biden estimated that about 100,000 businesses would be able to be helped in this first wave of funding, this group of 147,000 applicants has requested just over the initial $28.6 billion in the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Overall, the SBA has received 266,000 applications representing over $65 billion in requested funds, more than twice the amount that is currently available.
Thus far, the SBA has also received:
- 13,114 applicants with pre-pandemic revenues under $50,000 requesting $330 million in funding (out of a total of $500 million set aside for this group)
- 100,414 applicants requesting a total of $8.14 billion from businesses with under $500,000 in pre-pandemic revenues (far surpassing the $5 billion set aside by Congress for this group
- 61,535 applicants requesting $15.1 billion in funds from businesses between $500,000-$1.5 million in 2019 revenues (far surpassing the $4 billion set aside by Congress).
- Applications from 76,183 women business owners, 6,093 veteran business owners, and 42,284 economically and socially disadvantaged people.
“The numbers show that we’ve been particularly successful at reaching the smallest restaurants and underserved communities that have struggled to access relief,” Isabella Casillas Guzman, SBA administrator, said in a statement. “These businesses are the pillars of our nation’s neighborhoods and communities. We are making progress, but we have much more work to do as we continue reaching our underserved entrepreneurs.”
Because there is still funding left for the smallest businesses with under $50,000 in 2019 revenues, Guzman said that the SBA will be keeping the portal open for now.
“The Restaurant Revitalization Fund will play a crucial role in the recovery of our smallest businesses, street vendors. Street vendors come from communities in NYC and across the country that have been hit hard by the pandemic and are facing infinite challenges to recover,” Mohamed Attia, managing director of the Street Vendor Project of the Urban Justice Center said in a statement. “RRF offers an opportunity for many businesses and individuals who have been excluded from the past relief efforts due to the lack of documentation or immigration status by accepting applications from individuals using ITIN to run their business, many of whom are street vendors. We are looking forward to seeing the impact of it on our communities’ recovery.”
Businesses that have been approved should start seeing funds in their bank accounts this week. Taqueria Las Gemelas was visited by President Biden last week and announced as the first official recipient of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The Washington, D.C. restaurant just opened in March 2021 and received $600,677, which will be immediately used to give employees a much-needed raise, co-owner Josh Phillips said.
“I had to essentially drain the bank account of [my other restaurant] to keep up financially,” Phillips said. “So now we have a nice cushion.”
Contact Joanna at [email protected]
Find her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi