As the pandemic loosens its grip on society and the world continues to open up, the restaurant industry continues to struggle, between hiring enough staff members and paying bills.

The Small Business Association (SBA) has just announced the details of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, giving hope to a niche of businesses that took a tremendous hit over the past year.

Help has arrived for restaurants that have struggled to keep the doors open and the lights on, through The American Rescue Plan Act and its Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). The SBA explains that the 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.” Recipients won’t be required to repay the funding if the funds are used properly by March 11, 2023.

Here are the eligible entities that can apply:

  • Restaurants
  • Food stands, food trucks, food carts
  • Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
  • Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
  • Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products

Businesses that generate more than 33 percent of sales from on-site sale of food or beverages may also be eligible, such as:

  • Bakeries
  • Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms
  • Breweries and/or microbreweries
  • Wineries and distilleries
  • Inns

I’m excited to see financial help coming to the industry that desperately needs it, but is it too late? I can’t help but wonder, what took this so long? If David Portnoy of Barstool Sports was able to raise over $39 million for small businesses through his Barstool Fund, why couldn’t the U.S. government come up with something similar at the beginning of this mess?

So many restaurants have gone under as a result of lack of financial assistance, where was this plan 12 months ago?

Regardless of the timeline, this program will be a breath of fresh air for the restaurant industry and will hopefully be the starting point for restaurants to thrive in the coming year.

To learn more about the RRF and to apply, click here.

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