Written by The Business Journal Staff
It only took two days for the Small Business Administration to receive 186,200 applications from bars and restaurants for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
The SBA opened up the applications for the fund Monday that provided stimulus equal to the financial losses suffered by restaurants during the pandemic, according to a press release from the SBA.
The $28.6 billion program was a part of the American Rescue Plan and prioritizes money going to small businesses owned by women, veterans and socially disadvantaged owners for the first 21 days of the program. The SBA also has set aside $9.5 billion of that money to go to restaurants, bars and food trucks with under $50,000 in revenue.
Of the applicants, 97,600 came from those restaurants who qualify for the SBA’s priority rollout. Some 61,700 applications were from businesses who reported less than $500,000 in annual revenue pre-pandemic.
The fund is calculated to make up for losses suffered by restaurants because of the pandemic. It is supposed to fill in the difference between 2019 revenue and 2020 revenue for businesses, minus any money granted by the Paycheck Protection Program. Money from the fund is limited to go to payroll and rent.
Sales at restaurants and bars shrank 16% from February 2020 to February 2021, according to a presentation by Christopher Thornberg, an economist with Beacon Economics.
The rollout of the Revitalization Fund comes as PPP money ran out of money three-and-a-half weeks ahead of schedule, according to the Associated Press. The Program wasn’t expected to run out of money until May 31.