New funds will be distributed from SBA to those hardest-hit by COVID in the restaurant industry.
Last week, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced plans to distribute additional funds---approximately $83 million from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF).
As of the announcement, a reported 169 restaurant operators were waiting for distributions from the RRF – a program established as a means of supporting service industry establishments during the uncertainty and mandated closures at the height of COVID.
Associations and groups, like and including NSBA, worked with the SBA to secure dedicated federal pandemic relief dollars for a variety of small businesses and these additional RRF distributions will provide much-needed relief for many restaurants still struggling to return to pre-COVID profit levels.
According to an independent audit done over the summer, SBA had more than $180 million of unobligated RRF money without an immediate plan for distribution to the needy applicants.
SBA has since said it would work with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to distribute the remaining RRF dollars, later updating its plans to clarify that no further applications would be needed for the funds now to be paid out on a “first-applied, first-serve basis.”
The independent summer audit’s findings have also since been revised to the $83 million amount the SBA spoke to ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
According to the SBA, RRF grants will be distributed beginning this week, which restaurant operators must spend before March 2023.
For more information on the RRF program, visit SBA.gov and read its revised guide here.