SBA Restaurant Revitalization Fund makes an immediate impact.

Written by Jereme on

How resellers and payment solutions providers can help restaurateurs get back to business. 

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has officially opened applications for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RFF) established by the American Rescue Plan Act. Its purpose is to aid restaurants (and other eligible businesses) with funding critical to weathering the effects of the pandemic.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund will provide $28.6 billion in funding over the next several months to qualifying businesses impacted by COVID-19. The program is designed to grant funds equal to the pandemic-related revenue loss of the applicant, with the minimum award being $1,000 and no more than $10 million per business and $5 million per application.

Those applications first started pouring in on May 3rd, 2021, to the tune of 186,000 submissions in just the first two days from restaurants, bars, and other food and beverage businesses across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman stated, “Our nation’s restaurants have been among the first and worst hit by this pandemic, which is why we’ve been working as fast as possible to meet businesses where they are and get this much-needed relief into their hands...we’re prioritizing historically underserved communities and smaller businesses to ensure this relief is going to those who need it the most.”

The following businesses can apply:

  • Restaurants.
  • Food stands, trucks, and carts.
  • Caterers.
  • Bars.

The following businesses can also apply, provided their onsite food or drink sales comprise at least 33 percent of their gross receipts:

  • Bakeries.
  • Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms, breweries, and microbreweries.
  • Wineries and distilleries.
  • Inns.

Note that even restaurants that began operations after the onset of the pandemic (post-January 1st, 2020), or that have yet to open, but have incurred qualifying expenses, are eligible to apply.

How to apply.

Resellers and payment solution providers that are not affiliated with an SBA-recognized POS vendor can direct their merchants to apply via the SBA online application portal. Applications can also be submitted by phone at 844.279.8898.

How businesses can use money from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

Mobile ordering has been on the rise for a long time, growing at an average annual rate of 23 percent since 2013. The NPD Group also anticipated that digital orders would triple in volume by the end of 2020, and that was before the pandemic hit. Now, of course, mobile orders and contactless payments have become the lifeblood of restaurants during these times of social distancing. Payment solutions providers have the opportunity to help advise clients not just on applying to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, but also on the best use of those funds. This is an opportunity to help qualifying businesses make smart upgrades that will position them well for the future. That includes implementing the right mobile ordering solutions and contactless payment solutions that can best meet their needs. Or, offsetting expenses related to upgrading or purchasing new equipment. 

Other qualifying expenses covered under the Restaurant Revitalization Fund include:

  • Payroll.
  • Mortgage or rent.
  • Utility payments.
  • Maintenance.
  • Construction of outdoor seating.
  • Supplies (cleaning/protective).

Recovering, rebuilding, and becoming resilient.

Guzman also stated, “We know that our nation’s restaurants help propel our economy and sustain our neighborhoods and communities, and we will continue to work hard to ensure they get the resources they need to recover, rebuild and become resilient.”

 As a reseller or payment solutions provider, you are uniquely positioned to help guide your customers through these trying times. Reach out to your merchants to make sure they understand the Restaurant Revitalization Fund’s impact on their businesses. Show them how to apply and provide the value-added consultation on the best use of funds for the unique way they do business.