Vermont Business Magazine The Small Business Administration announced key details Saturday about application requirements, eligibility and a program guide for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
The restaurant industry has been among the hardest-hit sectors during the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help bring jobs back and revive the industry, the American Rescue Plan, signed into law by President Joe Biden, established the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The SBA will administer the funds to the hardest-hit small restaurants.
RRF 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. Recipients are not required to repay the funding if funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.
“The site (www.sba.gov/restaurants) went live on Saturday with both a sample application and a program guide. We strongly encourage Vermont restaurants, brew pubs, food trucks, coffee shops, bars and all other potential applicants to look through this website and get their documents ready as it will be a very popular program. This is not a loan, it is a grant,” said Darcy Carter, SBA Vermont District Director.
Ahead of the application launch and over the next two weeks, the SBA will establish a seven-day pilot period for the RRF application portal and conduct extensive outreach and training. The pilot period will be used to address technical issues ahead of the public launch. Participants in this pilot will be randomly selected from existing PPP borrowers in priority groups for RRF and will not receive funds until the application portal is open to the public.
Following the pilot, the application portal will be opened to the public. The official application launch date will be announced at a later date. For the first 21 days that the program is open, the SBA will prioritize reviewing applications from small businesses owned by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Following the 21-day period, all eligible applicants are encouraged to submit applications.
The groundwork for this announcement is the result of a comprehensive effort to reach out to diverse stakeholders to understand the needs and barriers restaurants face in accessing emergency relief aid.
"Today, we are starting the process to help restaurants and bars across the country devastated by the pandemic, and this is our message: Help is here. With the launch of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, we're prioritizing funding to the hardest-hit small businesses - irreplaceable gathering places in our neighborhoods and communities that need a lifeline now to get back on their feet," said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. "And, thanks to clear directives from Congress, we're rolling out this program to make sure that these businesses can meet payroll, purchase supplies, and get what they need in place to transition to today's COVID-restricted marketplace."
Administrator Guzman emphasized, "We're also focused on ensuring that the RRF program's application process is streamlined and free of burdensome, bureaucratic hurdles - while still maintaining robust oversight. Under my leadership, the SBA aims to be as entrepreneurial as the entrepreneurs we serve - and that means meeting every small business where they are, and giving them the support needed to recover, rebuild and thrive."
Restaurant Revitalization Fund Webinar 9am April 22
The SBA Vermont District Office is hosting a free webinar at 9 a.m. April 22 about the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
RRF is a federal grant program that will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million. Topics will include an overview of the program, eligibility and the application process.
To access the webinar by phone, call 202-765-1264 and enter code 981035922#.
For more information, email email@example.com.
Applicants Can Request Reevaluation For Targeted EIDL Advance
Effective immediately, applicants can send a request for reevaluation of a Targeted EIDL Advance application that was declined to the following email address: TargetedAdvanceReevaluation@sba.gov.
Applicants should follow these instructions when requesting a reevaluation:
- Send an email to TargetedAdvanceReevaluation@sba.gov
- Use the subject line “Reevaluation Request for [insert your 10-digit application number]”
- In the body of the email, include identifying information for the application such as application number, business name, business address, business owner name(s) and phone number
- Include an explanation and any documentation that addresses the reason for the decline, if available. SBA will contact applicants if additional documentation is required to complete the review.
Source: Vermont SBA 4.19.2021 www.sba.gov/vt