When the U.S. Small Business Administration created the rules for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, passed by Congress this spring, it was supposed to be a smoother and easier process than the earlier Paycheck Protection Programs. Without banks as middlemen and with a prioritization period that would help women and minority-owned businesses get a fair shot (many of whom had been locked out of the PPP), the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund was designed to help uplift the struggling mom and pop restaurants.
But after a series of discrimination lawsuits required the SBA to halt priority payments to qualified businesses, thousands of previously approved applicants had their funds rescinded. Weeks later after searching for answers, the SBA confirmed that the $28.6 billion was indeed spent.
Restaurant Hospitality received dozens of emails from restaurant owners detailing experiences of how they had been relying on these promised funds to keep their business afloat. Here are some of their stories.