The COVID-19 pandemic affected businesses all over the country that had to close or reduce their operations significantly. Because of stay-at-home orders, mask mandates, and safe distancing, it’s no surprise that the restaurant industry was one of the most affected.
Even though the economy is now slowly but surely recovering from the effects of coronavirus, it’s still hard for restaurants to go back to pre-COVID levels.
Because of this, president Joe Biden created the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) as part of his America Rescue Plan.
The program will distribute $28.6 billion in grants for restaurants (and other eligible food/beverage-related businesses) that need financial help.
You can get a grant equal to the revenue loss you suffered because of the pandemic. There’s a cap of $10 million per business and $5 million per location.
If you are awarded the grant, you can spend it on eligible expenses before March 11, 2023.
Can I apply? Requirements
In order to qualify, your business needs to fall into one of these categories:
- Bar, saloon, lounge, tavern
- Food truck, food stand or food cart
- Snack and beverage bar
- Licensed facility or premise of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products
- Brewpub, tasting room, taproom*
- Brewery and/or microbrewery*
- Winery and distillery*
*Onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts
If you’re part of the following groups, you’ll be able to apply in the priority period:
- Socially and economically disadvantaged
Can I apply if I have an ITIN?
It seems like it: the application requires a Business Tax Identification Number, and ITIN is an option.
You’ll need these documents to apply:
- IRS Form 4506-T, completed and signed by Applicant
- Documents demonstrating gross receipts and eligible expenses:
- 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-1
- Bank statements
- Income Statements or Profit and Loss Statements
- Point of sale report, including IRS Form 1099-K
- If your business is a brewpub, tasting room, taproom, brewery, winery, distillery, bakery, or inn:
- If your business was open before 2020: Documents evidencing that onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33.00% of gross receipts for 2019
- If your business was opened in 2020: Your original business model should have contemplated at least 33.00% of gross receipts in onsite sales to the public
You’ll also need to submit your application:
How to apply
To apply, you’ll need to do it through the Restaurant Revitalization Award Portal. You’ll need to register with an email and a password.
As an alternative, you can register with a SBA-recognized POS vendor (Square, Toast, Clover, NCR Corporation (Aloha), and Oracle).
The application period has been divided into 2 categories:
- Priority period (Days 1 through 21)
- Open to all applicants (Days 22 through funds exhaustion)
Consult the RRF program guide (pages 7 through 9) to learn how to calculate your grant amount.
If I get the grant, how can I spend it?
These are the eligible expenses:
- Business payroll costs and sick leave
- Payments on any business mortgage obligation
- Business rent payments (NOT prepayment of rent)
- Business debt service, both principal and interest (NOT prepayment of principal or interest)
- Business utility payments
- Business maintenance expenses
- Construction of outdoor seating
- Business supplies, like protective equipment and cleaning materials
- Business food and beverage expenses, like raw materials
- Covered supplier costs
- Business operating expenses