Resources for Restaurants

Resources for Restaurants

In March 2021, Congress passed a restaurant relief fund championed by Rep. Blumenauer in the American Rescue Plan Act. The fund provides $28.6 billion in grants for food service and drinking establishments – including caterers, brewpubs, taprooms, and tasting rooms – that are not part of an affiliated group with more than 20 locations or publicly traded.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) will begin accepting applications at 9:00 a.m. PT on Monday, May 3. Registration for the SBA application portal began on Friday, April 30 at 6:00 a.m. PT. In preparation for the grant program’s opening, the SBA released detailed guidance for those seeking relief money through the restaurant revitalization fund. You can read more here

The grant amounts – capped at $5 million per individual restaurant location and $10 million per restaurant group – are detailed as followed in the legislation:

  • Established Restaurants: 2019 revenue minus 2020 revenue, minus first- and second-draw PPP loans received.
  • Restaurants that opened in 2019: Average of 2019 monthly revenues multiplied by 12 minus average of 2020 monthly revenues multiplied by 12, minus first- and second-draw PPP loans received.
  • Restaurants opened in 2020: Eligible to receive funding equal to eligible expenses incurred, minus first- and second-draw PPP loans received.
  • Restaurants that have not yet opened: Eligible to receive funding equal to eligible expenses incurred before the date of enactment.


Eligible Expenses

  • The Restaurant Revitalization Fund requires that funds be spent on payroll and benefits (not including employee compensation exceeding $100,000/year), mortgage (no prepayment of mortgage), rent (no prepayment of rent), utilities, maintenance, supplies (including protective equipment and cleaning materials), food and beverages, covered supplier costs, operational expenses, paid sick leave, and any other expenses deemed essential by the Administrator.
  • Further guidance from the Small Business Administration is expected when the program launches in the coming weeks.


Provisions for Small and Minority-Owned Restaurants

  • During the initial 21-day period, the Small Business Administration is directed to prioritize grants for eligible entities that are owned or controlled by women, Veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged communities.
  • Additionally, $5 billion of the $28.6 billion total is reserved for restaurants with less than $500,000 in gross receipts in 2019. If the entirety of the $5 billion in funding isn’t distributed within 60 days of the program’s opening, the funding will be open to every business size.
  • Please note, the SBA Administrator may create other distributional tiers at her discretion.