Applying for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund

A quick look at everything potential borrowers will need to know in order to apply for SBA Restaurant Revitalization Funding.

With the Biden administration’s continued attention towards economic relief plans, it came as a huge sigh of relief for many in the small business community to hear that more help was on the way. As an offshoot of the American Rescue Plan Act, a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package signed earlier this year by President Biden, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) targets those small business owners in the restaurant and dining industry who may not have had a fair shot at the last few rounds of PPP. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund provides restaurants and other eligible businesses with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss (up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per brick and mortar location). Recipients of the RRF will not be expected to repay the funding so long as it is put to eligible uses by the target date of March 11, 2023.

Eligible Borrowers for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund

First and foremost, in order to qualify for the RRF, Entities must be able to show pandemic-related revenue loss. Once that criteria is met, the list of eligible entities includes:

  • Restaurants

  • Caterers

  • Bars (saloons, lounges, taverns, etc.)

  • Food stands, food trucks, food carts

  • Bakeries (if onsite sales to the public make up no less than 33% of gross receipts)

  • Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms (sales to the public must comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)

  • Breweries and/or microbreweries (sales to the public must equal at least 33% of gross receipts)

  • Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars

  • Wineries and distilleries (onsite sales to the public must comprise no less than 33% of gross receipts)

  • Inns (sales of food and beverage to the public must make up at least 33% of gross receipts)

  • Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products

Priority Groups

In order to ensure that some groups are given a better chance at receiving funding than they were through previous attempts at economic relief efforts, the RRF program has identified certain businesses that fall into “priority groups”. These priority groups must be eligible businesses that meet the following criteria:

  • At least 51 percent of the business must be owned by one or more individuals who are:

    • Women, or

    • Veterans, or

    • Socially and economically disadvantaged (see below)

      • Socially disadvantaged individuals can be defined as those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias because of their identity as a member of a group without regard to their individual qualities.

      • Economically disadvantaged individuals can be defined as those socially disadvantaged individuals whose ability to compete in the free enterprise system has been unfairly impeded due to diminished capital and credit opportunities as compared to others in the same business area who can not be defined as socially disadvantaged.

  • Applicants must self-certify that they meet eligibility requirements on their official application

When to Apply for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund

For those interested in applying for the program, acting early would be the best course of action. There are a couple of important dates to remember, as well as two unique application periods to keep in mind. Registrations for the official SBA application portal will be open starting Friday, April 30th, 2021, at 9 am (ET), although actual applications for the RRF won’t be live until Monday, May 3rd, 2021, at mid-day (ET).  

Additionally, the application window will be separated into two segments. The first segment encompasses the first 21 days that applications are to be accepted, and will be the designated time period in which ONLY priority group applications will be processed (all applications will still be accepted during this time, however, only priority group applications will be processed and funded). Starting on the 22nd day, the SBA will accept applications from all eligible applicants and process applications in the order in which they are approved.

How to Apply for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund

Prospective applicants can apply through any SBA-recognized Point of Sale (POS) vendors or directly through the SBA once the online application portal goes live (https://restaurants.sba.gov). A number of POS providers including Square, Clover, and Toast are participating, and applicants who utilize Toast or Square need not pre-register through the application portal. 

Potential borrowers who want to get a head start can view the RRF application ahead of time here: SBA Form 3172, but no submitted applications will be accepted until the given start date. 

In addition to the application, borrowers must be prepared to provide the following documentation:

  • IRS Form 4506-T, completed and signed by Applicant. (This form can be digitally completed on the SBA platform and will satisfy this requirement)

  • Any of the following documents demonstrating gross receipts and, if applicable, eligible expenses

    • Business tax returns (IRS Form 1120 or IRS 1120-S)

    • IRS Forms 1040 Schedule C; IRS Forms 1040 Schedule F

    • For a partnership: IRS Form 1065 (including K-1s)

    • Bank statements

    • Income Statements or Profit and Loss Statements (Either internally or externally prepared)

    • Point of sale report(s), including IRS Form 1099-K

  • For applicants that are a brewpub, tasting room, taproom, brewery, winery, distillery, or bakery:

    • Documents evidencing that onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33.00% of gross receipts for 2019, which may include Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) Forms 5130.9 or TTB. For businesses that opened in 2020, the Applicant’s original business model should have contemplated at least 33.00% of gross receipts in onsite sales to the public. 

  • For applicants that are an inn:

    • Documents evidencing that onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33.00% of gross receipts for 2019. For businesses that opened in 2020, the Applicant’s original business model should have contemplated at least 33.00% of gross receipts in onsite sales to the public.