June 22, 2021
Delaney Sexton, Contributing Editor
SBA Hot Topic Tuesday- Nearly 3,000 Restaurant Revitalization Fund Fundings Halted by Federal Courts
“The acceptance letter they received from the SBA represented a commitment to provide not only federal funding, but also a needed bit of hope that they would survive to serve their community,” says the executive vice president of Public Affairs for the National Restaurant Association, Sean Kennedy.
The Restaurant Revitalization Fund was enacted in April 2021, and the government provided $28.6 billion in grants for restaurants. Within the three weeks that women, veterans, and economically and socially disadvantaged restaurant owners had priority, over 147,000 priority applications were submitted worth more than $28.6 billion in grants.
Due to the depletion of the RRF, three lawsuits were filed against the SBA claiming the priority period was discriminatory towards other owners. These lawsuits resulted in 2,965 restaurant owners who received a commitment from the SBA for federal relief to have their approval rescinded. The SBA has halted the RRF until they can process all non-priority applications that were previously filed.
Once the SBA starts distributing funding to restaurants depending on the time and date submitted rather than priority level, the RRF will quickly be depleted. Including priority and non-priority applications, the SBA accumulated over 362,000 applications for more than $75 billion. On June 10, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act of 2021 was introduced by members of the Senate and House to provide an additional $60 billion towards the RRF.
“The announcement that their grants will be awarded to others has left them confused, frustrated, and afraid they will have to close their doors for good,” says Sean. “These 2,965 restaurants received a commitment from the SBA for federal relief, and they deserve every effort to achieve this.”