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SBA offering up to $10 million for restaurants struggling amid COVID-19

“These businesses are the beating heart of communities across our state, but unfortunately the pandemic put their survival in jeopardy," said U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan.
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Restaurant operators can apply for up to $10 million in federal pandemic relief funding starting Friday.

Registrations are set to open at 9 a.m. Friday for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund, a $28.6 billion component of the American Rescue Plan providing direct relief for restaurants and other food establishments hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Restaurants are the second-largest private employer in this country, and for countless other Americans they provide the first opportunity for a job,” said U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, in a news release. “These businesses are the beating heart of communities across our state, but unfortunately the pandemic put their survival in jeopardy.”

Applications for the RFF are set to open at noon Monday. To pre-register, visit SBA.gov/restaurants or, in Spanish, SBA.gov/restaurantes.

Recipients are not required to repay the funding if it’s put toward eligible uses like payroll, mortgage, rent, utility or debt payments and other operating expenses. Funds must be spent by March 11, 2023.

In the first 21 days of the program funding will be prioritized for businesses owned and controlled by woman, veterans and socially and economically disadvantaged people. After that 21-day period, all eligible applications will be funded on a “first-come, first-served” basis.

The SBA is hosting call-in webinars on the fund over the next several days:

  • Thurs. April 29, 3:30pm
    • Call in (audio only) at +1 202-765-1264, 251576542#
    • Phone Conference ID: 251 576 542#
  • Friday, April 30, 9:30 am
    • Call in (audio only) +1 202-765-1264, 336942080#
    • Phone Conference ID: 336 942 080
  • Tues., May 4, 1:00 pm
    • Call in (audio only) +1 202-765-1264, 853187157#
    • Phone Conference ID: 853 187 157#

The administration recommends qualifying applicants familiarize themselves with the application process before Monday by:

Registering for an account in advance at restaurants.sba.gov starting Friday, April 30, 2021, at 9 a.m. EDT

Reviewing the official guidance, including program guide, frequently asked questions, and application sample

Preparing the required documentation

Working with a point-of-sale vendor or visiting restaurants.sba.gov to submit an application when the application portal opens; Applicants working with point-of-sale vendors don’t need to register beforehand on the site.