SBA sending first $2 billion in Restaurant Revitalization Fund payments

By Jeff Drew

The first wave of payments from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) is going out to more than 16,000 restaurants and other food and beverage providers, some of whom could see relief money in their bank accounts as soon as Tuesday.

A week after opening the $28.6 billion RRF, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) said late Monday afternoon that it had begun sending out more than $2 billion in a first round of funding to restaurants, bars, and other eligible applicants.

“Restaurants are the core of our neighborhoods and propel economic activity on Main Streets across the nation,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman in a news release. “We know that this help is urgently needed by so many who have suffered disproportionately from this pandemic and have often been unable to access relief.”

The SBA reported last week that more than 186,000 restaurants, bars, and other food and beverage businesses applied for RRF assistance during the first two days after the program’s application window opened May 3.

All eligible food and beverage providers are allowed to apply to the RRF, but for the first 21 days the SBA will prioritize reviewing applications from small businesses owned by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

After the first 21 days, the SBA will fund all eligible applications on a first-come, first-serve basis. Approved applicants should expect an average of 14 days for processing, review, approval, and funds distribution, the SBA 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.

Eligible entities for the RRF include the following:

  • Restaurants;
  • Food stands, food trucks, and food carts;
  • Caterers;
  • Bars, saloons, lounges, and taverns;
  • Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars;
  • Bakeries, brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms, breweries, microbreweries, wineries, and distilleries at which on-site sales to the public comprise at least 33% of the gross receipts;
  • Inns at which on-site sales of food and beverages to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts; and
  • Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products.

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.

The AICPA’s Paycheck Protection Program Resources page houses resources and tools produced by the AICPA to help address the economic impact of the coronavirus.

For more news and reporting on the coronavirus and how CPAs can handle challenges related to the outbreak, visit the JofA’s coronavirus resources page or subscribe to our email alerts for breaking PPP news.

Jeff Drew (Jeff.Drew@aicpa-cima.com) is a JofA senior editor.

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