The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced a last call for Restaurant Revitalization Fund applications; the application portal will stay open until May 24 at 8 p.m. ET.
According to the SBA, they have received more requests for funds than are available from operators in both the category of restaurants with 2019 gross receipts of $50,000-$500,000 and the $500,000-$1.5 million category, but more than $210 million is still available for operators with 2019 gross receipts under $50,000. While all restaurants are encouraged to keep applying, the restaurants with the smallest revenues will be given priority.
“If our nation’s food and beverage industry is going to fully recover, we must ensure as many of the hardest-hit businesses get the economic aid they need,” SBA administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said in a statement. “We are committed to creating easy to navigate programs and removing barriers that have kept many of our nation’s smallest businesses from accessing these crucial economic lifelines. The SBA will continue to be as entrepreneurial as the small businesses we serve, and we will continue to work as fast as possible to deliver the relief our businesses need so urgently.”
So far, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund program has received more than 303,000 applications requesting $69 billion in funds, with 57% of requests coming from women, socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and veterans. Almost 38,000 applicants have already been approved for more than $6 billion.
The SBA has broken down funding requests they’ve received by priority groups:
- 12,898 applications from businesses with not more than $50,000 in pre-pandemic revenue requesting $290 million in funds (out of an available $500 million).
- 73,671 applications from businesses with not more than $500,000 in annual pre-pandemic revenue requesting $6.1 billion in funds (more than the available $5 billion)
- 34,010 applications from businesses with $500,000 - $1,500,000 in annual pre-pandemic revenue requesting $8.4 billion in funds (more than double the available $4 billion).
“The numbers speak to the commitment SBAmade to educating owners and operators through their work with the Association, our state partners, and other industry support organizations,” Tom Bené, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association said in a statement. “The funds that have already been distributed will help accelerate the recovery of thousands of restaurants and bring much-needed capital to communities across the country."
There are no updates on if or when another round of funding will be approved by Congress.
For firsthand accounts on what it’s like to apply for an receive a grant from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, check out our interview with the co-owner of Las Gemelas, the first restaurant to receive an RRF grant.
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