GLOVERSVILLE — The Fulton County Center for Regional Growth on Monday released information on U.S. Small Business Administration application guidelines for an official new federal $29 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RFF) to help restaurants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Details on application requirements, eligibility, and a program guide are now available at www.sba.gov/restaurants. The application launch will be later.
SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced details on application requirements, eligibility, and a program guide for the fund.
The restaurant industry has been among the hardest-hit sectors during the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an SBA news release. To help bring jobs back and revive the industry, the American Rescue Plan, signed into law by President Joe Biden, established the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund at the SBA.
The SBA will administer the funds to hardest-hit small restaurants.
“Today, we are starting the process to help restaurants and bars across the country devastated by the pandemic, and this is our message: Help is here,” Guzman said. “With the launch of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, we’re prioritizing funding to the hardest-hit small businesses – irreplaceable gathering places in our neighborhoods and communities that need a lifeline now to get back on their feet. Thanks to clear directives from Congress, we’re rolling out this program to make sure that these businesses can meet payroll, purchase supplies, and get what they need in place to transition to today’s COVID-restricted marketplace.”
Ahead of the application launch and over the next two weeks, the SBA will establish a seven-day pilot period for the RRF application portal and conduct extensive outreach and training. The pilot period will be used to address technical issues ahead of the public launch. Participants in this pilot will be randomly selected from existing PPP borrowers in priority groups for RRF and will not receive funds until the application portal is open to the public.
Following the pilot, the application portal will be opened up to the public. The official application launch date will be announced at a later date. For the first 21 days that the program is open, the SBA will prioritize reviewing applications from small businesses owned by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Following the 21-day period, all eligible applicants are encouraged to submit applications.
In addition to restaurant groups and leading advocacy groups for underserved business communities, the SBA has engaged national and state trade associations, and other small business stakeholders in recent weeks to understand their concerns about relief programs.