The Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) will officially stop accepting applications Monday, May 24, at 8 p.m. ET, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced.
While the application window won’t close until Monday, it realistically remains open only to the smallest providers of on-site food and drink. The SBA revealed last week that the RRF had received applications seeking more than twice the $28.6 billion allocated by Congress to fund grants to restaurants, bars, and other eligible businesses hard-hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a news release Tuesday night, the SBA said that the RRF program has received more than 303,000 applications, requesting a total of nearly $70 billion, but that more than $220 million remained available from $500 million set aside for eating establishments that posted 2019 annual revenue of no more than $50,000.
Food and beverage providers that meet $50,000 revenue standard are encouraged to apply through SBA-recognized point-of-sale vendors or directly via the SBA online application portal, the agency said.
Congress created the RRF to provide food and beverage providers with grants equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss, up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. The funds can be used for eligible expenses, such as payroll and rent.
The vast majority of RRF funds appear destined for eligible businesses owned by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. The American Rescue Plan Act, P.L. 117-2, which created the RRF, mandated that those businesses receive priority review for the first 21 days of the program, which opened May 3.
During the first two weeks of the program, the SBA received applications from more than:
- 122,000 women business owners.
- 14,000 veteran business owners.
- 71,000 economically and socially disadvantaged individuals.
Those groups represent 57% of the RRF applications received by the SBA and the vast majority of the $6 billion in grants approved by the SBA for 38,000 applications.
AICPA members can access a detailed summary of the RRF.
AICPA experts discuss the latest on the PPP and other small business aid programs during a virtual town hall held every other week. The webcasts, which provide CPE credit, are free to AICPA members and $39 for nonmembers. Go to the AICPA Town Hall Series webpage for more information and to register. Recordings of Town Hall events are available to view for free on AICPA TV.
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— Jeff Drew (Jeff.Drew@aicpa-cima.com) is a JofA senior editor.