- Learn about the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
- Find out how to qualify as an eligible entity.
- Learn how to make an application for good-faith certification.
- Discover tax issues associated with these grants.
- Learn about the period covered by the fund.
- Discover details about available funding.
- Learn about priorities in awarding grants.
- Find out how to determine grant amounts.
- Learn how recipients can use funds.
- Find out how to apply for a grant.
The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). This fund provides monies to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss. Limits of up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location apply. Recipients do not have to repay the funding if they use grant funds for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023. Fiducial has more on this valuable program below!
Eligible entities include businesses not permanently closed and businesses where the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of having food or drinks served to them. These include:
- Food stands, food trucks and food carts
- Bars, saloons, lounges and taverns
- Licensed facilities or premises of an alcoholic beverage producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products
- Other similar places of business in which the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of having food or drinks served to them
- Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
The following types of businesses are also eligible if they can document that their on-site sales to the public comprised at least 33% of gross receipts in 2019. For businesses that opened in 2020 or that have not yet opened, the applicant’s original business model should have contemplated at least 33% of gross receipts in on-site sales to the public.
- Brewpubs, tasting rooms and taprooms
- Breweries and microbreweries
- Wineries and distilleries
- Inns – Based on on-site sales of food and beverage rather than gross receipts.
All businesses must satisfy the statutory requirement for “place of business in which the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of being served food or drink.” Also, an eligible entity must have made at least 33% in 2019 of on-site sales to the public. The original business model of eligible entities that opened in 2020 or that have not yet opened should have contemplated at least 33% of gross receipts in on-site sales to the public.
We presume that those entities without additional documentation requirements, such as restaurants and bars, have on-site sales to the public comprising at least 33% of gross receipts in 2019. All applicants must attest to the following in the application: “The Applicant is eligible to receive funding under the rules in effect at the time this application is submitted.”
- Eligible entities do not include:
- State- or local government-operated businesses.
- Any entity that owned or operated more than 20 locations on March 13, 2020, regardless of whether those locations do business under the same or multiple names.
- Entities with a pending application for or that have received a grant under Sec 324 of the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses Act (PL 116-260).
- Publicly traded companies.
Application Good-Faith Certification
An eligible entity applying for a grant under this subsection must make a good-faith certification that:
- The uncertainty of current economic conditions makes the grant request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the eligible entity.
- The eligible entity has not applied for or received a grant under Sec 324 of the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act (Title III of Division N of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021).
- These grants are tax free.
- No deduction or basis increase is denied, and no tax attribute reduced by reason of the gross income exclusion.
- Since the restaurant revitalization grants are treated as tax-exempt income, they will be allocated to partners or shareholders and increase their bases in their partnership or S corporation interests.
The period begins on February 15, 2020 and ends on March 11, 2023. If the business permanently closes, the covered period will end when the business permanently closes or on March 11, 2023, whichever occurs sooner. Recipients that are unable to use all of the funds received on eligible expenses by the end of the covered period must return any unused funds to the Treasury.
- $5 billion will be available for grants to businesses with gross receipts of no more than $500,000 in 2019.
- $20 billion will be available to the SBA administrator to award grants equitably to eligible entities of various sizes based on annual gross receipts.
Priority in Awarding Grants
During the initial 21-day award period, the SBA will prioritize awarding grants to eligible entities most relevant to small business concerns:
- Owned and controlled by women,
- Owned and controlled by veterans, or
- Socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns. To obtain priority, an applicant must submit self-certification for eligibility.
Determination of Grant Amount
The amount of a grant made to an eligible entity under this provision will be equal to the eligible entity’s pandemic-related revenue loss less any PPP loan amount; the entity must return to the Treasury any amount not used for qualified expenses.
Example: Heidi’s Café had 2019 gross receipts of $2,000,000. In 2020, the gross receipts equaled only $800,000 because the business remained closed most of the year due to the pandemic. Heidi’s gross revenue loss equals $1,200,000. Heidi’s Café had received a PPP loan of $500,000, so the business would be eligible for a grant of $700,000.
The aggregate amount of grants made to an eligible entity and any affiliated businesses (an affiliated business is one that has an equity or right to profit distributions of not less than 50 percent) will:
- Not exceed $10 million and
- Have a limit of $5 million per physical location of the eligible entity.
Use of Funds
During the covered period, an entity that receives a grant may use the grant funds for the following expenses incurred as a direct result of, or during, the COVID–19 pandemic:
- Payroll costs, including sick leave and costs related to the continuation of group health care, life, disability, vision, or dental benefits during periods of paid sick, medical, or family leave; and group health care, life, disability, vision, or dental insurance premiums.
- Payments on any business mortgage obligation (both principal and interest. Note: this does not include any prepayment of principal on a mortgage obligation).
- Business rent payments, including rent under a lease agreement (Note: this does not include any prepayment of rent).
- Business debt service (both principal and interest. Note: this does not include any prepayment of principal or interest).
- Business utility payments for the distribution of electricity, gas, water, telephone, or internet access, or any other utility used in the ordinary course of business for which service began before March 11, 2021.
- Business maintenance expenses including maintenance on walls, floors, deck surfaces, furniture, fixtures, and equipment.
- Construction of outdoor seating.
- Business supplies, including protective equipment and cleaning materials.
- Business food and beverage expenses, including raw materials for beer, wine, or spirits.
- Covered supplier costs, aka an expenditure made by the eligible entity to a supplier of goods for goods that:
o Are essential to the operations of the entity at the time at which the expenditure is made; and
o Is made pursuant to a contract, order, or purchase order in effect at any time before the receipt of Restaurant Revitalization funds; or
o With respect to perishable goods, a contract, order, or purchase order in effect before or at any time during the covered period.
- Business operating expenses, defined as business expenses incurred through normal business operations that are necessary and mandatory for the business (e.g., rent, equipment, supplies, inventory, accounting, training, legal, marketing, insurance, licenses, fees). Business operating expenses do not include expenses that occur outside of a company’s day-to-day activities. Note: Past-due expenses are eligible if they were incurred beginning on February 15, 2020 and ending on March 11, 2023.
Applying for a Grant
The SBA has added an application portal to its website. They will take about 14 days to process applications once the portal begins accepting them.
Remember, as mentioned previously, during the first 21 days of the program, funds will only be distributed to businesses that are majority-owned by women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. If you qualify, you should be prepared to submit your application within the first 21 days.
Need more small business COVID-19 resources? Visit Fiducial’s Coronavirus Update Center to find information on SBA loans, tax updates, the Paycheck Protection Program, paid sick and family leave, and more.