WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced, over the weekend, key details on application requirements, eligibility, and a program guide for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RFF). The food service industry is among the hardest-hit during the COVID-19 pandemic economic downturn. The American Rescue Plan, signed into law by President Joe Biden, established the $28.6 billion RRF to be administered by the SBA.
“Our message is this; ‘Help is here.’” said Administrator Guzman. “We’re prioritizing funding to the hardest-hit small businesses – irreplaceable gathering places in our neighborhoods and communities in need of a lifeline. Thanks to clear directives from Congress, we’re rolling out this program to ensure 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 the RRF application process is streamlined and free of burdensome, bureaucratic hurdles, while maintaining robust oversight. Under my leadership, the SBA will be as entrepreneurial as the entrepreneurs we serve – meeting every small business where they are, and giving them the support they need to recover, rebuild and thrive.”
Ahead of the launch and over the next two weeks, the SBA will establish a seven-day pilot period, ahead of the public launch, to conduct outreach and training. Participants will be randomly selected and will not receive funds until the application portal is open to the public – to be announced at a later date. For the first 21 days the program is open, the SBA will prioritize reviewing applications from women, veterans and socially and economically disadvantaged business owners. Afterward, all eligible applicants are encouraged to apply.
“These guidelines were crafted by the SBA after conversations with independent restaurant and bar operators across the country,” said Erika Polmar, Executive Director of the Independent Restaurant Coalition. “We are grateful to the SBA for their hard work to make this process as accessible as possible in a short period of time. It is clear the SBA and the Biden Administration care deeply about ensuring businesses struggling the most can quickly and effectively use this relief program.”
In addition to restaurant groups and leading advocacy groups for underserved business communities, the SBA has engaged national and state trade associations, and other small business stakeholders in recent weeks to understand their concerns about relief programs. At all levels, the SBA continues to engage with stakeholder communities to inform and design delivery of financial assistance programs.
“The SBA West Virginia District Office is here to assist small business restaurant owners with the RRF program,” said SBA West Virginia District Director Karen Friel. “Once the program launches our team will be offering RRF program trainings and the SBA Resource Partners will be able to provide one-on-one counseling services.”
As the SBA builds and prepares to roll out the program, this dedicated SBA website is the best source for up-to-date information for eligible restaurants interested in the RRF. Under this announcement, details on application requirements, eligibility, and a program guide are now available in English at www.sba.gov/restaurants, and in Spanish at www.sba.gov/restaurantes.