More Covid Grant Money for Restaurants and Related Businesses
Starting at 7 a.m. MST this Friday, April 30, business owners can begin registering for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) program, part of the $1.9 trillion aid package Congress passed in February. The applications can be submitted starting at noon on Monday, May 3, through the SBA website restaurants.sba.gov. This website is very helpful and explains this program.
This is a very generous program. The amount of funding a business may receive is simply the difference between a business’s gross revenue in 2019 and 2020, up to $5 million per location and $10 million total. The grant will be reduced by the aggregate disbursements a business received under both PPP loan programs.
Besides restaurants and bars, eligible entities who have experienced pandemic-related revenue loss include food trucks, caterers, bakeries, brewpubs and breweries, wineries and distilleries, among others. Eligible entities are those that provide a place of business in which patrons assemble for the primary purpose of being served food or drink, and it must have in 2019 at least 33% of its sales as on-site sales to the public.
Grants can only be used on eligible expenses incurred starting on Feb. 15, 2020, and ending on March 11, 2023.
Compared to the PPP, the RRF offers more flexibility in how operators can use the money. Eligible expenses include payroll, employee benefits and paid sick leave; mortgage, rent and utilities; maintenance; outdoor seating construction; supplies, protective equipment and cleaning materials; food and beverage; operational expenses; and principal payments for business debt.
The SBA promises that the application is simple and easy to use. We encourage you to apply online. The website section that is labeled “How to Apply” explains the minimal documents needed.