Bill Funds Restaurant Relief

March 16, 2022

Bipartisan legislation was recently introduced by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) to provide an additional $48 million in funding to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). The bill, the Continuing Emergency Support for Restaurants Act, will provide much-needed economic relief to the hospitality industry, including restaurants, bars, cideries, and other craft alcohol businesses with tasting rooms. The bill will provide grants to eligible entities to help cover payroll, mortgage or rent payments, utilities, operational expenses, and other eligible expenses.

In March 2021, Congress created RRF and appropriated $28.6 billion in funding to provide grants to eligible entities equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million and no more than $5 million per location. Eligible entities include restaurants, bars, food trucks and carts, brewpubs, tasting rooms, and other food services establishments.

Unfortunately, Congress underfunded the original program, and more than 278,000 eligible applications totaling over $72.2 billion in RRF funds were submitted. Just over 100,000 of the applications were approved before SBA had to close the program due to the funding shortfall.