U.S. restaurants that have been impacted by the prolonged economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be getting some relief in the form of a $26.8 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will open registration for the fund at restaurants.sba.gov  on Friday, April 30 at 9 am EDT. Applications will open on Monday, May 3 at noon EDT, and will remain open until all funds are distributed. It is recommended that potential applicants register in advance and familiarize themselves with the eligibility requirements and necessary documentation they will need to apply.
 
For the first 21 days that the program is open, the SBA will prioritize applications from businesses owned and controlled by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Following the 21 days, all eligible applications will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis.
 
The SBA has also created a $9.5 billion set-aside for smaller restaurants: $5 billion for applicants with 2019 gross receipts of not more than $500,000; $4 billion is set aside for applicants with 2019 gross receipts from $500,001 to $1,500,000; and $500 million for applicants with 2019 gross receipts of not more than $50,000.
 
The Restaurant Revitalization Fund provides a total of $28.6 billion in direct relief funds to restaurants and other hard-hit food establishments that have experienced economic distress and significant operational losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Funds must be used for allowable expenses by March 11, 2023. 
 
If you are a restaurant owner or operator and have questions about eligibility or the application process for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, please contact Gray, Gray & Gray at (781) 407-0300.