Restaurant Relief Fund Exhausted, Calls for Congress to Act

07.09.2021
Small Business

CBIA has called for Congress to add additional dollars to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which was closed this week after exhausting its original $28.6 billion allocation.

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced the closure of fund July 2. The fund was part of the American Rescue Plan Act that Congress approved earlier this year.

The SBA reported that nationally, 278,304 restaurants applied for a total of $72.2 billion in aid, with 101,004 (36%) receiving grants.

In Connecticut, 3,369 restaurants applied for a total $790.8 million in grants, with 1,303 (39%) getting funding.

The SBA awarded $301.1 million in grants in Connecticut, with an average grant of $231,131. The national average grant was $283,000.

‘Ability to Survive’

CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said pandemic-driven shutdowns and restrictions left restaurants and bars “among the first to be closed and among the last to reopen.”

“The leisure and hospitality sector was one of the hardest hit economic sectors in the state, losing 90,800 jobs in March and April of 2020,” DiPentima said.

“Congress must act quickly to address the significant demand for help not only in Connecticut, but across the country.”

CBIA’s Chris DiPentima

“Too many Connecticut restaurants have yet to fully reopen and too many still remain uncertain about their ability to survive.

“Congress must act quickly to address the significant demand for help not only in Connecticut, but across the country.”

SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman said the agency “will continue to work hard to ensure [restaurants] get the resources they need to recover, rebuild and be resilient.”

Aid Distribution

Restaurants and bars were eligible for economic aid equal to their pandemic-related revenue losses, capped at $10 million per business and $5 million per location, with grants distributed as follows:

  • 2.2%: $50,000 or less
  • 4.9%: $50,000-$100,000
  • 5.6%: $100,000-$150,000
  • 21.2%: $150,000-$350,000
  • 27.2%: $350,000-$1 million
  • 16.4%: $1 million-$2 million
  • 18%: $2 million-$5 million
  • 4.6%: $5 million-$10 million

The fund prioritized underserved populations, distributing $18 billion as follows:

  • Women-owned businesses: $7.5 billion
  • Veteran-owned businesses: $1 billion
  • Social and economically disadvantaged-owned businesses: $6.7 billion
  • Businesses owned by representatives of multiple underserved populations: $2.8 billion

The grants could only be used for certain eligible uses, like payroll and rent.

SBA officials said the online fund platform will remain open for the next two weeks to allow applicants to check status, address payment corrections, or ask questions. 

The SBA will disable access July 14, 2021.

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