WASHINGTON – In the wake of the American Rescue Plan being signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, the US Small Business Administration (SBA) announced it will begin registration for the program on April 30 and begin accepting applications on May 3 for the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The online application will remain open until all funds are exhausted by eligible establishments.

“Restaurants are the core of our neighborhoods and propel economic activity on main streets across the nation,” said Isabell Casillas Guzman, SBA administrator. “They are among the businesses that have been hardest hit and need support to survive this pandemic.

“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.”

The fund will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Funds can only be used for allowable expenses by March 11, 2023.

“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 of 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.”

In the first three weeks of the program, SBA plans to prioritize applications from business that are owned and/or controlled by women, veterans and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. After 21 days, all eligible applications will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis.

SBA also set aside $9.5 billion of this funding for even smaller business. There is $5 billion for applicants with 2019 gross receipts that are not more than $500,000; $4 billion was put in place for applicants with 2019 gross receipts from $500,001 to $1.5 million. There is also $500 million earmarked for applicants with 2019 gross receipts that are not more than $50,000.