When the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (HR 1319, the “ARP”) became public law on March 11, 2021, it was the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that relief from the catering industry was specifically addressed. ARP is a $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill targeting struggling small businesses, providing financing in the form of loans and grants to help the U.S. economy weather the pandemic to the end from 2021.
In addition to restaurant-specific relief, ARP provides a wide range of pandemic-related relief, including:
- Extended Federal Unemployment Insurance
- An additional stimulus payment to people earning less than $ 75,000 / year
- $ 350 billion for state and local governments
- $ 75 billion for COVID-19 testing, vaccine production and distribution
- $ 130 billion to help K-12 public schools reopen under COVID-19 safety parameters
- A third round of Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans
Prior to ARP, the PPP program provided a cost-effective life jacket for most US private companies, but the food and beverage industry was lacking. State and local COVID-19 operating warrants forced most of the food industry to shut down or resort to take-out operations only with limited staff, making compliance with the cancellation program PPP loan almost impossible. Now our favorite taverns, wineries, food trucks and restaurants have hope.
What is the Restaurant Revitalization Fund?
A major component of the ARP is the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (the “RRF”), a $ 28.6 billion grant to help local bars and restaurants that will be administered by the US Small Business Association (the ” SBA ”). While the SBA has yet to release details on the grant application, $ 28.6 billion will go fast. It is imperative that eligible entities wishing to participate in the RRF register with the federal government using the Rewards Management System (SAM) as soon as possible. Registration instructions are included at the bottom of this article.
Who is eligible to receive an RRF grant?
The RRF will be available for “eligible entities” which may show gross income deficits between 2019 and 2020. The RRF defines “eligible entities” as restaurants, food stands, food trucks, food carts, caterers, saloons, inns, taverns, bars, lounges, breweries, tasting rooms, taprooms and licensed facilities or premises of producers of alcoholic beverages where the public can taste, taste or purchase products.
How much can an eligible entity receive?
The maximum RRF grant will be $ 5 million per location and $ 10 million per group of restaurants. Restaurant groups with more than twenty (20) locations, as well as government-run or publicly traded businesses, will be excluded from participating in the RRF program. For multi-brand operators, the cap of twenty (20) locations will still apply. You should contact your lawyer or accountant if you have any questions regarding your institution’s eligibility to participate in the RRF.
An applicant’s grant amount will be calculated by subtracting 2020 revenues from 2019 revenues, and a modified formula will be used for restaurants that are not open throughout the 2019 or 2020 calendar year. Amounts received under the P3 the first or second draw will be deducted from the amount of the grant.
What expenses are eligible for the RRF grant?
Unlike the PPP, the RRF grant does not have a requirement for a percentage use of employee salaries, and the grant does not need to be repaid to the Federal Treasury if it is fully used for eligible expenses before. on December 31, 2021. It should be noted that these grants must be returned if the beneficiary of a grant ceases his activities definitively by December 31, 2021 at the latest.
Grant funds can be used for a variety of expenses including, but not limited to:
- Paid sick leave
- Principal and interest payments on mortgages
- To rent
- Maintenance and supply costs
- Other expenses related to food and beverages which “are part of normal business practice”
How will RRF grants be prioritized?
The first 21 days of the RRF will prioritize eligible entities owned by women, ethnic minorities and veterans. During the first 60 days, $ 5 billion of the $ 28.6 billion will be reserved for qualifying entities with gross revenues of $ 500,000 or less in 2019. After the initial 60-day period, the remaining funds will be opened. higher income establishments.
How to apply for an RRF grant?
To enroll in the SAM system, entities must complete the following steps and obtain the following credentials:
- Create a user account on login.gov
- Sign up for a Dun and Bradstreet number (“DUNS number”) (Please note that it may take up to two (2) business days
- Using your login.gov login details, DUNS number, and Federal Tax ID number, you will now be able to register with SAM. Once registration with SAM is complete, you will receive a SAM number to use in your grant application. Please note that your SAM registration can take up to 2 weeks and it is not clear when the SBA will start accepting grant applications.
As stated above, interested eligible entities should contact their accountant and lawyer as soon as possible to maximize their chances of receiving grant funds.