Restaurant Revitalization Fund recipients unveiled
Customers curious about whether their favorite restaurant has received a grant from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) can now access a database containing the names and amounts of all RRF grants approved by the US Small Business Administration (SBA). ).
The SBA released the RRF information on July 9 in a comma separated values file that can be downloaded from this web page. News from the nation’s restaurants reported that the file was released in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the Independent Restaurant Coalition.
The RRF has provided $ 28.6 billion to more than 100,000 restaurants, bars and other businesses that provide food and drink on site.
Congress created the RRF to provide relief to a sector of the economy particularly affected by government-imposed closures and other restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand for funds has far exceeded supply, with restaurants and other eligible businesses submitting more than 278,000 requests for more than $ 72.2 billion in funding as of June 30.
Most of these requests were submitted in the first days after the RRF application window opens on May 3. Less than 10 days after the launch of the RRF, the SBA reported that he had received requests for more than double the $ 28.6 billion Congress had earmarked for grants.
At that time, the program seemed likely to provide the vast majority of its funding to qualifying businesses owned by women, veterans, and the socially and economically disadvantaged. The American Rescue Plan Act, PL 117-2, which created the RRF, required those companies, which submitted 147,000 claims totaling $ 29 billion during the program’s open days, to receive priority review during the first 21 days of the program.
The priority policy was challenged by lawsuits alleging that the policy discriminated against white males. Several judges have ruled in favor of these demands, leading the SBA to stop processing requests from members of priority groups and to cancel some approvals already done.
Ultimately, restaurants and other eligible businesses owned by members of priority groups received around $ 18 billion in grants, with the remainder of the $ 28.6 billion going to eligible applicants not identified as part of the grant. an underserved group, the SBA said.
Under the RRF, food and beverage suppliers could apply for grants equal to their lost revenue from the pandemic, up to $ 10 million per business and no more than $ 5 million per physical location. The funds could be used for qualifying expenses, such as payroll and rent.
The SBA said it will keep the RRF application platform open until today (July 14) to allow applicants to check their status, address payment corrections or ask questions.
AICPA members can access a detailed summary of the RRF.
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– Jeff drew ([email protected]) is a JofA senior editor.