The $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund, part of the Biden Administration’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, will offer direct grants to restaurants and other qualifying food businesses. The program has not yet opened for applications, and the SBA has yet to release a timeline for when it will begin accepting and processing requests for funds.

During the first 21 days of grants, the SBA will prioritize applications from women-, veteran- and minority-owned establishments. As part of the program, $5 billion in funding will also be reserved for the smallest independent restaurants, which before COVID-19 earned $500,000 or less in a year.

Eligible restaurants can expect grants that match their pandemic-related revenue loss, calculated by taking their revenue in 2019 and subtracting 2020 revenue and any PPP loan monies received. 

The funds cover a wide array of costs incurred during the pandemic, including outdoor dining construction expenses and spending on personal protection equipment and cleaning and sanitization from February 15, 2020 to December 31, 2021. 

Eligible expenses include: 

  • Payroll costs
  • Mortgage payments
  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Outdoor dining construction costs
  • Personal Protective Equipment 
  • Food and beverage costs
  • Supplier costs
  • Operational expenses
  • Paid sick leave
  • Other expenses

A VA SBDC webinar covers how applicants can prepare for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund application. While all the details for the program have not been finalized, there are some advance steps that businesses may need to do now to better prepare them for the application process. View recording: or watch here: