Restaurant Revitalization Fund offers help for businesses hit hard by pandemic

Industry expects 10,000 restaurants to close in next 3 months
Posted at 9:09 AM, Apr 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-30 09:09:12-04

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is encouraging restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments hit hard by the pandemic to apply for $28.6 billion in federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund direct relief.

It’s being provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration under the American Rescue Plan, according to a news release Friday.

“Restaurant owners and other food establishments have made incredible sacrifices over the past year to keep their communities safe and slow the spread of COVID-19,” Whitmer said. “This vital relief will help ensure they can keep their doors open and continue to serve their communities while also ensuring their workers can stay employed entering the critical summer season.”

Registration for the funding began at 9 a.m. Friday, with the application itself opening on May 3 at noon.

“This is critical relief to some of our hardest hit small businesses,” said Brian Calley, president of the Small Business Association of Michigan. “Funds are limited, so I encourage eligible businesses apply as soon as the application window opens to ensure they get the support they need.”

For the first 21 days that the program is open, the Small Business Administration will prioritize funding applications from businesses owned and controlled by women, veterans and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

After those 21 days, all eligible applications will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis with the online application remaining open to any eligible establishment until all funds are exhausted.

Eligible businesses include restaurants, food stands, food trucks, food carts, caterers, bars, saloons, lounges, taverns, brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms, breweries, wineries, distilleries and bakeries.

The minimum funding awarded will be $1,000 with businesses that remain open eligible to receive funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss – up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location.

The fund includes $9.5 billion in set-asides specifically for smaller businesses, $5 billion for applicants with 2019 gross receipts of not more than $500,000, $4 billion is set aside for applicants with 2019 gross receipts not more than $50,000.

Recipients would not be required to repay the funding if the money is used for eligible expenses before March 11, 2023.

More information on the Restaurant Revitalization Fund can be found here.

Other resources, offered by the State of Michigan, for businesses struggling with economic losses during the pandemic can be found here.