February 15, 2021
Main Street Monday – House Committee Approves $25 Billion Restaurant Grant Program
“As we approach the one-year mark of pandemic-related dining restrictions, we know that virtually every restaurant in every community has been impacted,” says Tom Bené, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “The year ahead will be critical as we continue to advocate for much-needed recovery funds to help get our industry back on track.”
According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2021 State of the Restaurant Industry Report, the restaurant sector finished 2020 at nearly 2.5 million jobs below its pre-coronavirus level with over 110,000 eating and drinking places still closed due to restrictions on indoor dining or difficulty adapting to take-out. In response, the House Small Business Committee recently approved a bill that appropriates $25 billion in assistance for restaurants and other food and drinking establishments. The bill now goes to the House Budget Committee to be included in a comprehensive aid package that will likely get voted on later this month.
Here is what we know about the proposed Restaurant Revitalization Fund program:
- Restaurant Revitalization Grants will provide eligible small business restaurants with up to $10 million per entity, with a limitation of $5 million per physical location.
- Grants are calculated by subtracting 2020 revenue from 2019 revenue. The grant size is then reduced by any amounts received from a PPP loan.
- Grants may be used for a wide variety of expenses, including payroll, mortgage, rent, utilities, supplies, food and beverage expenses, paid sick leave, and operational expenses.
- During the first 21 days, applications from restaurants owned, operated, and controlled by women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals will receive priority.
- $5 billion of the $25 billion appropriated for the program will be set aside for businesses with less than $500,000 in 2019 annual revenue.
“The measure establishes a $25 billion grant program for independent restaurants that have been dealt a tremendous blow by the pandemic,” says House Small Business Committee Chairwoman, Nydia M. Velázquez. “We heard in Committee hearings that while the PPP was helpful in the short run, it didn’t meet their long-term needs. Restaurants need a long-lasting solution to make it through these cold, winter months.”