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SBA Debuts Restaurant Revitalization Fund Application Requirements, Issues Updates on Other COVID-19 Relief Programs

  • U.S. Small Business Administration releases more information on its Restaurant Revitalization Fund as it prepares to accept applications
  • Program guide offers information on calculation methods, eligible expenses, and more
  • SBA also issues updates on its Shuttered Venue Operators Grant and Targeted EIDL Advance programs

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

The U.S. Small Business Administration has provided more details on its upcoming Restaurant Revitalization Fund program as it prepares to accept applications. The SBA also issued updates on the status of its Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program and offered a way for applicants rejected for a Targeted EIDL Advance grant to ask for reconsideration.

The programs were all established as part of the SBA’s efforts to provide relief to businesses suffering from revenue shortfalls due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Restaurant Revitalization Fund

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund, a $28.6 billion grant fund established under the American Rescue Plan, now has a page on the SBA website providing more information on application requirements and eligibility. The resources include a 21-page program guide, an updated cross-program eligibility chart, and a sample application.

The program is open to businesses where “the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of being served food or drink.” This covers a broad range of enterprises, including restaurants, bars, caterers, food trucks, and certain breweries, wineries, and inns.

Recipients must apply for at least $1,000, but can receive up to $5 million per individual location and up to $10 million for an applicant and their affiliates. The funds can be used for eligible expenses such as payroll, mortgage or rent, business debt service, utilities, and supplies.

Applicants can choose from one of three different calculation methods to determine the size of their grant:

  • For businesses making sales on or before Jan. 1, 2019, the grant amount is determined by subtracting 2020 gross receipts from 2019 gross receipts, and further reducing the total by the value of any Paycheck Protection Program loans received
  • Another calculation, applicable to businesses that opened later in 2019, uses average monthly gross receipts to determine the 2019 value
  • Businesses that began making sales between Jan. 1, 2020 and March 10, 2021, as well as applicants that have not yet started sales but have incurred eligible expenses, may calculate their grant based on subtracting 2020 gross receipts from the aggregate total of eligible expenses

The program has set aside $5 billion for applicants with 2019 gross receipts of less than $500,000, another $4 billion for applicants with 2019 gross receipts of $500,001 to $1.5 million, and an additional $500 million for applicants with 2019 gross receipts of less than $50,000. For the first 21 days after the program opens, it will prioritize the review of applications from small businesses owned by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

The SBA also announced that it will be establishing a seven-day pilot period over the next two weeks to test the Restaurant Revitalization Fund’s application portal with randomly selected business owners who have received PPP funding. These participants will not receive funding until the portal opens to the public.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund is not yet accepting applications. Once the program opens, applicants can apply through an online portal, SBA-recognized Point of Sale Restaurant Partners, or by calling 844-279-8898.

Targeted EIDL Advance

The SBA has set up a dedicated e-mail address for Targeted EIDL Advance applicants seeking a reevaluation of a declined funding request. The Targeted EIDL Advance program provides businesses in low-income communities with grants of up to $10,000.

Applicants can send an e-mail to with the subject line “Reevaluation Request for” followed by their 10-digit application number. The e-mail should also include identifying information for the business as well as an explanation and any documentation addressing the reason the application was declined.

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant

The SBA expects that the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal will reopen by the end of this week, after it opened on April 8 and was forced to close the same day due to technical problems. The program has $16.2 billion available for entities such as live venues, performing arts organizations, movie theaters, and museums.

Technical glitches caused the SBA to quickly suspend applications. While the root issue was resolved, the SBA announced that more in-depth risk analysis and stress tests identified other problems that could impact the portal’s performance.

“The vendors are quickly addressing and mitigating them and working tirelessly with our team so the application portal can reopen ASAP and we can deliver this critical aid,” the SBA said in a statement.

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