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New SBA Fund Aims to Help KC Restaurant Owners: Get Ready to Apply


Help is on the way for the restaurant industry, one of the hardest-hit during the pandemic. 

Information around the Restaurant Revitalization Fund has been announced, such as key details on application requirements, eligibility, and a program guide.

To help bring jobs back and revive the industry, the American Rescue Plan established the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund with the U.S. Small Business Administration; the SBA will administer the funds to the hardest-hit small restaurants.

SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman says funds will help small businesses meet payroll, purchase supplies and get what they need to do business in the current marketplace.

Application requirements, eligibility and a program guide are now available in English at sba.gov/restaurants or in Spanish at sba.gov/restaurantes.

How to prepare

Although the SBA isn’t yet accepting applications, there are things you can do right now to prepare.

The SBA recommends reviewing the sample application, program guide and cross-program eligibility chart on SBA COVID-19 relief options. You will be able to apply through SBA-recognized Point of Sale Restaurant Partners or directly via SBA in an upcoming online application portal. (Registration with SAM.gov is not required. DUNS or CAGE identifiers are also not required.)

Also, before the application launches and over the next two weeks, the SBA will establish a seven-day pilot period for the fund application portal and do some outreach and training. The pilot period will help address technical issues before the program launches to the public. Participants in this pilot will be randomly selected from existing PPP borrowers in priority groups for RRF and won’t receive funds until the application portal opens to the public.

After the pilot, the application portal will open to the public. The official application launch date will be announced at a later date. For the first 21 days that the program is open, the SBA will prioritize reviewing applications from small businesses owned by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. After the 21-day period, all eligible applicants are encouraged to submit applications.

How the fund came about

The groundwork for this announcement is the result of a comprehensive effort to reach out to diverse stakeholders to understand the needs and barriers restaurants face in accessing emergency relief aid.

The SBA talked with independent restaurant and bar operators across the country to help craft the guidelines for this fund, says Erika Polmar of the Independent Restaurant Coalition.

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.

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.

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