Small Business Administration (SBA) leader Isabella Casillas Guzman announced eligible eating establishments have until May 24, 8 pm EST to submit applications requesting funds from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF).
The RRF was established by President Joe Biden to ensure that eating establishments of every size across the country get the financial relief they need. The initial $5 billion cash infusion by Congress was for restaurants with gross receipts not exceeding $500,000.
Casillas Guzman has since created two additional funding allocations to ensure restaurants of all sizes aren’t left behind in the country’s recovery. A $500 million infusion for restaurants with 2019 gross receipts not exceeding $50,000 and a $4 billion infusion for restaurants with 2019 gross receipts between $500,000 and $1.5 million.
To date, the RRF program has received more than 303,000 applicants who have requested more than $69 billion in funds. Nearly 38,000 applicants have been approved for more than $6 billion.
“The numbers speak to the commitment SBA made to educating owners and operators through their work with the Association, our state partners, and other industry support organizations,” Bené said. “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.”
RELATED CONTENT: Restaurant Industry Prioritizes Diverse Leadership After Realizing There Are Zero Black CEOs
The restaurant and bar industry was nearly destroyed by the coronavirus pandemic as state restrictions turned late-night partying and dining into a take-out and delivery-only service. According to Fortune, more than 110,000 bars and restaurants in the U.S. closed in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus. The closings resulted in 2.5 million jobs being lost.
Even with the help from the government including the RRF and the Paycheck Protection Program, restaurants and bars are still struggling to survive. Open Streets programs have provided a way for eating establishments to stay open and make money.
However, Guzman believes these programs are paramount for the survival and rebuilding of one of the country’s top industries.
“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,” Administrator 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.”