The Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) is part of the American Rescue Plan Act. Signed into law on March 11, 2021, the act is intended to support hospitality and food service industry businesses impacted by the pandemic. The RRF is administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA), which may award funding ranging from $1,000 to $5 million dollars per applicant business location, or up to $10 million total per applicant. The RRF will remain active until the fund has completely run out of money. At this time, the fund is largely depleted, and only small businesses with a total of no more than $50K in gross receipts in 2019 may apply. However, the fund may be replenished at a later date, so read on! Awards must be spent by March 11, 2023, on expenses incurred between February 15, 2020, and March 11, 2023. Unspent funds must be returned to the U.S. government.
Who is eligible?
Most restaurants, bars, bakeries, caterers, food trucks or stands, brewpubs, distilleries, and privately owned inns with onsite sales of food are eligible to apply. All applicants must certify that current economic uncertainty makes the funding request necessary to support ongoing or anticipated operations. Applicants must belong to one of the following tax categories to be eligible:
• C corporations or S corporations
• Limited Liability Companies
• Sole proprietors
• Self-employed individuals
• Independent contractors
Who is ineligible?
The RFF is meant to help small businesses, family businesses, and entrepreneurs. An applicant may not be one of the following:
• A state or local government-operated business
• An owner or operator of more than 20 total business locations, in any industry
• A publicly traded company
• Permanently closed (this does not include temporary closures due to stay-at-home orders)
• A nonprofit organization
Other disqualifiers include a past approved filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or a Chapter 11, 12 or 13 bankruptcy not currently operating under an approved repayment plan. However, bankruptcy program applicants who are completing an approved plan of reorganization are eligible to apply for the RRF.
What will funding cover?
RRF awards may be spent on any of the following expenses essential to running a small business. These include:
• Payroll, business supplies, food and beverage expenses, utilities and operating expenses
• Construction costs associated with maintaining outdoor or socially distanced service
• Payment of any debts accrued during the pandemic
Ineligible expenses include:
• Expansion costs
• Prepayment of principal on debts accumulated before the pandemic
How does previous Paycheck Protection Plan funding affect revitalization fund awards?
Businesses that received a PPP loan in 2020 will have the loan amount deducted from their final award through the RRF. Applicants will be verified using the Employer Identification Number (EIN) used for the PPP application. Participation in other SBA managed programs also affects eligibility. The SBA of Maine can answer questions about the programs.
How to apply:
• Directly through the SBA platform at restaurants.sba.gov
• Through a point-of-sale (POS) vendor
• SBA is actively looking to partner with more POS providers
• By telephone at (844) 279-8898. Note that telephone applications have longer processing times