SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – More relief is coming to our country’s restaurants as many continue to struggle during the pandemic.
A report last year showed that 20 percent of Massachusetts restaurants have closed for good. Now, more money is on the way to help the struggling restaurant industry.
The nearly $29 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund designated for restaurants, bars, food trucks and other food operations opens to all eligible businesses starting Monday. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. The funds do not have to be paid back as long as that money is used by March 2023.
“The onsite grant application portal opened at noon today. I received early reports that the technology is working. I heard directly from a small business that she was able to get in, probably one of the first to apply, and took her 30 minutes to get in without issues,” said Bob Nelson, SBA District Director.
This funding was made possible through the passage of the American Rescue Plan that was signed into law on March 11.
On March 11, President Biden signed into law the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The plan provided economic impact payments of up to $1,400 per person and $1,400 for each of their qualifying dependents claimed on their tax return.
This program provides emergency assistance for eligible restaurants, bars, and other qualifying businesses impacted by COVID-19.
The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding 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 up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.
Who can apply
Eligible entities who have experienced pandemic-related revenue loss include:
- Food stands, food trucks, food carts
- Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
- Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
- Bakeries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
- Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
- Breweries and/or microbreweries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
- Wineries and distilleries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
- Inns (onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
- Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products
When to apply
Registration for the SBA application portal is now open. Applications will open on Monday, May 3, 2021, at noon ET.
Allowable use of funds
Funds may be used for specific expenses including:
- Business payroll costs (including sick leave)
- Payments on any business mortgage obligation
- Business rent payments (note: this does not include prepayment of rent)
- Business debt service (both principal and interest; note: this does not include any prepayment of principal or interest)
- Business utility payments
- Business maintenance expenses
- Construction of outdoor seating
- Business supplies (including protective equipment and cleaning materials)
- Business food and beverage expenses (including raw materials)
- Covered supplier costs
- Business operating expenses
Massachusetts families and communities have started to receive resources including vaccine rollout, direct financial assistance to individuals and families, money for school districts to assist school reopening, and funding support for small businesses. The new plan will also address food insecurity with increases to the hunger prevention programs SNAP and WIC.
Massachusetts can expect to receive:
- $5.3 billion in state fiscal relief
- $2.6 billion in local fiscal relief
- More than $1.897 billion in relief for Massachusetts K-12 schools
- Economic impact payments of up to $1,400 per person for more than 3,925,800 adults and 1,331,400 children. This is 78% of all adults in the state and 73% of all children in the state;
- Additional relief of up to $1,600 per child through the Child Tax Credit to the families of 1,105,000 children, lifting 55,000 Massachusetts children out of poverty
- Additional relief of up to nearly $1,000 through the Earned Income Tax Credit for 294,000 childless Massachusetts workers, including many on the frontline
- Marketplace health insurance premiums are $1,011 lower per month for a 60-year old Massachusetts couple earning $75,000 per year