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Overview of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund

03/12/2021 Victor Evans

Co-authored by David Harrison, Senior Accountant, CPA

On Thursday, March 11, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act. As the latest COVID-19 relief bill, the Act includes many economic and tax provisions that will have immediate impact on individuals and businesses.

One major provision in the bill is the creation of a “Restaurant Revitalization Fund.” This $28.6 Billion fund will be available to businesses in the food and beverage industry who have been affected by the pandemic. Here are some of the major contours of the Fund as passed by the Senate:

Who is Eligible?

  • The bill has a list of eligible entities that includes restaurants, food stands, food trucks, taverns, inns, brewpubs, and a catchall provision which states, “or other similar place of business in which the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of being served food or drink.”
  • Also: The business cannot be state or local government-operated, cannot have more than 20 locations, and cannot be a publicly-traded company.

What Assistance is Available?

  • Up to $5,000,000 per physical location, maximum of $10,000,000 per eligible entity.
  • Measured by: “Pandemic-Related Revenue Loss” defined asgross receipts during 2020 subtracted from the gross receipts in 2019. The grant is reduced by any PPP funds the entity has already received.
  • The grant funds may be used for a wide range of operating expenses, including payroll, rent, mortgage, utilities, maintenance expenses, supplies, food, and beverage expenses, among other uses. Any amount not used by December 31, 2021 must be returned to the government.
  • Many aspects of the bill provide the SBA will discretion and room for interpretation. We will be monitoring additional guidance closely.

When Are Applications Due?

  • The bill provides for a 21-day application window.
  • The SBA is looking to open the application window “within weeks, not months” of the bill passing.
  • Women, veteran, and minority-owned and operated business will be prioritized during the application window. All other applicants will be first come, first served.

Where & How Do You Apply?

  • The grant will be administered by the Small Business Administration and can be applied for at the website Grants.gov.
  • Applicants will need a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number and must be registered with the System for Award Management (SAM).
  • This process can take up to two weeks, so businesses should start now if they want to be ready once the registration window opens.

Although the Fund offers generous relief, the resources are limited for the large number of businesses in need. Time will be of the essence for those looking to access these funds. We will be monitoring developments closely. For additional guidance, please contact David Harrison (dharrison@vlcpa.com) or Victor Evans (vevans@vlcpa.com) via email or by phone at 800.887.0437.

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