The $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund, passed as part of the American Rescue Plan that was signed into law by President Joe Biden, has received more than 147,000 applications from women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged business owners nationwide requesting more than $29 billion in aid dollars.
Some restaurants have already received RRF funding: As of May 13, $2.7 billion of relief funds were distributed to 21,000 restaurants since the fund opened on May 3.
Local New Jersey data is not yet available, according to an SBA spokesperson.
“Through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, SBA is helping thousands of restaurants and other food and beverage businesses across the country get the help they desperately need to recover and rebuild from this pandemic,” said Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman in a prepared statement.
“The numbers show that we’ve been particularly successful at reaching the smallest restaurants and underserved communities that have struggled to access relief. These businesses are the pillars of our nation’s neighborhoods and communities,” Guzman said. “We are making progress, but we have much more work to do as we continue reaching our underserved entrepreneurs.”
Along with a $5 billion set-aside established for applicants with gross receipts $500,000 and under, Guzman created two additional funding allocations to ensure the smallest of the small restaurants, including food trucks and food carts, get a piece of the pie: A $500 million set-aside for applicants with 2019 gross receipts less than $50,000, and a $4 billion set aside for applicants with 2019 gross receipts between $500,000 and $1,500,000.
In the first days of the RRF program, the SBA received applications from 13,114 businesses with under $50,000 in pre-pandemic revenue, who requested $330 million in funds; 100,410 businesses with under $500,000 in annual pre-pandemic revenue, who requested $8.14 billion in funds; and 61,535 businesses with $500,000 – $1,500,000 in annual pre-pandemic revenue, who requested $15.1 billion in funds.
The numbers show that we’ve been particularly successful at reaching the smallest restaurants and underserved communities that have struggled to access relief. … We are making progress, but we have much more work to do as we continue reaching our underserved entrepreneurs.
– SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman
The application portal remains open because SBA still has potential funding available for eligible establishments with 2019 annual revenue of not more than $50,000.
Overall, the program has received more than 266,000 applications representing over $65 billion in requested funds, nearly half of all applications flooding in from women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged business owners.
“Awarding grants within a week of restaurants and bars applying demonstrates SBA’s steadfast commitment to getting people the help they need as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Erika Palmer, executive director of the Independent Restaurant Coalition in a prepared statement. “Restaurants and bars across the country are devastated after the last 16 months of this pandemic and, until this week, have been unable to access the meaningful relief needed to stay afloat. This is what so many businesses have been waiting for – independent restaurants and bars are grateful for the Biden Administration’s efforts to quickly and carefully deliver relief to the people who need it most.”