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July 6, 2021

SBA to close its restaurant-relief fund

The U.S. Small Business Administration said Tuesday it will close the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which was signed into law by President Joe Biden as part of the American Rescue Plan.

The program provided economic aid to restaurants and other establishments that were hurting from the pandemic.

“The $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund provided desperately needed relief to more than 100,000 restaurants and other food and beverage businesses across the nation with significant funding going to our hardest-hit, underserved businesses,” said SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman. “Restaurants are at the center of our neighborhoods and propel economic activity on Main Streets. As among the first to close in this pandemic and likely the last to reopen, many are still struggling to survive. The SBA will continue to work hard to ensure they get the resources they need to recover, rebuild and be resilient.”

As of June 30, the program received more than 278,000 applications representing over $72.2 billion in requested funds, and approximately 101,000 applicants have been approved to restaurants, bars and other related businesses. Underserved populations received approximately $18 billion in grant awards including :

  • Women-owned businesses: $7.5 billion
  • Veteran-owned businesses: $1 billion
  • Social and economically disadvantaged-owned businesses: $6.7 billion
  • Businesses owned by representatives of multiple underserved populations: $2.8 billion
  • The remainder of the $28.6 billion was awarded to eligible applicants not identified as part of an underserved group.

The average size of grant awards to applicants was $283,000.

As outlined by Congress, restaurants and bars were eligible for economic aid equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss, with a cap of $10 million per business and $5 million per location. The funds were available for certain eligible uses, like payroll and rent.

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