As we all work to better support the ever-important foodservice sector, industry champions from across the supply chain have stepped up to offer their services. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is one such industry champion, recently announcing its Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Registration for the event begins this Friday, April 30, and applications will be open on Monday, May 3. Online applications will remain open to any eligible establishments until all funds are exhausted.
“Restaurants are the core of our neighborhoods and propel economic activity on main streets across the nation. They are among the businesses that have been hardest hit and need support to survive this pandemic. We want restaurants to know that help is here,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “The SBA has focused on the marketplace realities of our food and beverage businesses in designing the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to meet businesses where they are. And we are committed to equity to ensure our smaller and underserved businesses, which have suffered the most, can access this critical relief, recover, and grow more resilient.”
The Restaurant Revitalization Fund was established under the American Rescue Plan and signed into law by President Biden on March 11, according to a press release. In total, the fund provides $28.6 billion in direct relief funds to restaurants and other food establishments being hit hard by the economic distress of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through this program, restaurants will be provided with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. The funds must be used for allowable expenses by the businesses by March 11, 2023 as part of the stipulations.
“Recognizing the great urgency to help restaurants keep their doors open – and with a clear mandate from Congress – the SBA worked at a breakneck speed and is excited to launch this program,” said Patrick Kelley, SBA Associate Administrator, Office of Capital Access. “From day one, we engaged with diverse stakeholders in the food industry community to make sure we built and delivered the program equitably, quickly, and efficiently.”
For the first 21 days that the program is open, the SBA will prioritize funding applications from businesses owned and run by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. All eligible applicants are encouraged to submit applications as soon as the portal is opened. After the first 21 days, all eligible applications will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis.
For those looking to apply and meeting the qualifications, the SBA recommends that they familiarize themselves with the application process in advance to ensure an efficient experience. For further information on this, click here.
As foodservice operators continue to need relief, SBA is taking steps to ensure equitable distribution by creating a $9.5 billion set-aside with $5 billion for applicants with 2019 gross receipts of not more than $500,000, $4 billion set aside for applicants with 2019 gross receipts from $500,001 to $1,500,000, and $500 million for applicants with 2019 gross receipts not more than $50,000.
For more information on the program, please click here.
Deli Market News will be here to report as more foodservice-related developments come to light.