Restaurant Revitalization Fund offers more help to some small businesses

restaurant worker shortage
Posted at 9:36 PM, May 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-03 10:23:45-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Following a year of shutdowns, capacity limits, and to-go orders only, dining establishments are now seeing targeted relief.

"They honestly could not open - they'd be in violation of a county or state ordinance and they were definitely the hardest hit," said LaTanya Channel, district director of the Small Business Administration. "This a total of $28 billion set aside just to help restaurants, bars, taverns, inns, caterers, food trucks, food courts."

The Small Business Association's Restaurant Revitalization Fund is offering billions of dollars in grant money to help restaurants offset revenue loss as far back as February of 2020.

The money can go toward things like the construction of outdoor seating areas and even paying off debt. "Everything from rent, utilities, supplier costs, legal fees, insurance, marketing, payroll, of course, any PPE equipment that you need, any cleaning that you have to do to make your facility safe for that," said Channel.

She said the money can also be used towards future costs like mortgage payments. "So it's for expenses incurred since 2020 - since February 15 of 2020 - and for expenses you have to pay all the way up to March of 2023."

Unlike the Paycheck Protection Program, the money doesn't have to be paid back. "So the biggest difference with the Restaurant Fund is that you do not have to go through a lender," said Channel.

Most businesses are eligible for up to $5 million in grants. The $28 billion pot of money is first come first serve to applicants who qualify, which means it could run out quickly.

Applications will be available beginning Monday.