It may have been slow to get here, but targeted relief for the restaurant industry has finally arrived. Among the provisions of the $2.5 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), passed back in March, is $28 billion set aside for Restaurant Revitalization Grants and food service businesses to make up their pandemic-related revenue losses. Applications for this Restaurant Revitalization Fund, or RRF, opened this week to eligible applicants.
Those who received PPP funds will recognize a lot of similarities between the two programs. Like PPP, RRF is administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Interestingly, businesses will also be able to apply through SBA-recognized Point of Sale (POS) vendors, a list which includes Square, Toast, Clover and Oracle, as well as directly through the SBA.
The big news here is that restaurants and other covered businesses will be eligible for funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss of up to $10 million per business. Here are some program highlights:
- RRF provides funding of up to a maximum of $5 million per location and $10 million per entity.
- The grant award amount is based on the amount of gross revenue decrease from 2019 to 2020, minus the amount of PPP funding received.
- The eligible expenses list is expansive and includes all PPP-eligible expenses as well as some additional categories.
- Businesses that may qualify include not only restaurants, food trucks, caterers, bars and the like, but also bakeries, breweries, distilleries, wine tasting rooms and inns where onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts.
- Expenses must be incurred between February 15, 2020 and March 11, 2023.
RRF represents a significant source of economic relief for an industry that has seen an outsized impact from COVID. As we begin to see signs of improving economic conditions — and with increasing vaccination rates contributing to the loosening of restrictions — this funding may serve as a critical bridge to a recovered business environment for the restaurant industry over the next several months. BPM stands ready to support your business as you navigate these turbulent times, including advising on any questions relating to the RRF program.
For more information, contact Brett Hazlett, Advisory Director, today.