WRM and its partners have been working with small businesses and restaurants for years and are grateful for the trust our restaurant partners place in us. We strive to not only meet but exceed our customers’ expectations. We hope that you see us a valued part of keeping your business operational now and into the future. In that spirit, we wanted to pass along this information about the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). Please note that WRM is not qualified to offer any advice on qualifying or applying for funds and we encourage you to refer to the SBA for full details. See their press release for more information. As of Saturday, the eligibility requirements for the RRF are published in both Spanish and English but applications have not launched just yet.
The aim of this funding is to provide relief to the hardest hit small restaurants. Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman emphasizes that with the launch of this fund, the SBA hopes to balance robust oversight with an application process that is “streamlined and free of burdensome, bureaucratic hurdles.”
What Kind of Businesses Qualify?
To qualify, a business must not be permanently closed and must be a business where the public gathers to eat and drink. This includes:
- Food stands, food trucks, food carts
- Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
- Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products
- Other similar places of business in which the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of being served food or drink
- Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
- Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms
- Breweries and/or microbreweries
- Wineries and distilleries
For several of these businesses to qualify, owners must demonstrate that in 2019, at least 33% of gross receipts were on-site sales.
Who Does Not Qualify?
To ensure that relief is directed towards those restaurants hardest hit, big brands and corporations may not qualify for this relief. Any entity including affiliated businesses that own or operates more than 20 locations will not be eligible, nor will any publicly traded companies.
•Multi-Location Business of more than 20
•Permanently Closed Businesses
•Publicly Traded Companies
•Government Run Companies
•Shuttered Venues Application Qualifiers
•Bankrupt Companies (Chapter 7 or Chapter 11, 12, 13 and non-operational)
When can I apply for the RRF?
Before opening the application portal to all, the SBC intends on running a pilot, randomly pulled from past recipients of SBA funding via the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The pilot will be used to address any technical issues prior to the public launch. Once the pilot is complete, the application portal will be made available publicly. Pilot participants will not receive funding until the portal is open to the public.
Once the application is live, all businesses will be able to submit applications. In the first 21 days, SBA will only be distributing funds for approved applications who meet the eligibility requirements as owned by women, veterans, or those that are socially and economically disadvantaged. After the first 22 days, all applications will be accepted, and funds will be distributed in the order of approval.
How do I apply for the RRF?
Once the application is made available to the public, businesses will be able to use it in three ways. A sample application is available now.
SBA Restaurant Partners
SBA is working with technology companies that offer point-of-sale (POS) services to the restaurant industry. Eligible POS Restaurant Partners will have a website or secure portal through which entities can apply.
Directly through SBA
A multi-step application will be available directly through SBA. The SBA will have you create an account to upload all necessary documentation via their site.
Telephonically through SBA
For entities without internet access, the application will also be available via telephone at (844)279-8898
How much can I qualify for?
Per the SBA site, funding per location may go as high as $5 million but has a minimum of $1000. Per the sample application, for entities in operation prior to January 1, 2019, the calculation is 2019 gross receipts minus the sum of 2020 gross receipts and PPP loan amounts.
- Funding amount = 2019 gross receipts – (2020 gross receipts + outstanding PPP loans)
What can I spend it on?
The PPP required a 60/40 split between payroll expenses and other costs. As of now, the RRF allows that funds for the use of any of the following:
- Business payroll costs including employee health costs
- Payments on any business mortgage obligation
- Business rent payments
- Business debt service
- Business utility payments
- Business maintenance expenses including plumbing and grease trap maintenance
- Construction of outdoor seating
- Business supplies
- Business food and beverage expenses
- Covered supplier costs
- Business operating expenses
All funds must be used by March 11, 2023 or must be returned to the government.