Client Alert: SBA Issues Guidance for Restaurant Revitalization Fund Program

On April 17, 2021, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) quietly rolled out a new website for the much-anticipated Restaurant Revitalization Fund (“RRF”) program.  The website includes, among other things, a sample Application and Program Guide.  A copy of the Program Guide can be found here and a copy of the of the sample Application can be found here.

The RRF was established as part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021, which allocated $28.6 Billion for the SBA to distribute to qualifying restaurants, bars, and similar food and beverage business that suffered revenue losses as a result of COVID-19 and the federal, state, and, local rules and regulations that followed in its wake.

Specifics relative to the RRF are provided below:

General Details

  • Applications

    • Applications will be made directly through the SBA or an SBA Restaurant Partner / SBA Point-of-Sale Restaurant Partner.
  • Grant Funds

    • Awardees will not be required to repay funds received under the RRF so long as all funds are used for authorized purposes.
  • Funding

    • SBA will issue funds directly into an Applicant’s business operating account. Commercial operating accounts are required.
    • Sole proprietors without a commercial account will be required to submit supporting documentation that the account is used for restaurant purposes.
      • Accounts with less than 3 months history or with unrelated ownership to Applicant will not be permitted.
  • Required Certifications

    • Current economic uncertainty makes this funding request necessary to support the ongoing or anticipated operations of the Applicant.
    • The Applicant does not have a pending application for and has not received a Shuttered Venue Operator grant from SBA.


  • Priority of Applications

    • The SBA is prioritizing Applicants at least 51% owned and controlled by women, veterans, and/or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals (or any combination thereof) for the first 21 days of the program.
      • Certifications will be required for priority Applicants.
    • All Applicants may apply as soon as the SBA begins accepting Applications.
  • Use of Funds

    • Applicants will have until March 11, 2023, to utilize all funds for eligible uses.
    • All funds not used by March 11, 2023, will need to be returned to the Treasury Department.
    • Applicants will be required to complete “annual reporting submissions” evidencing the amount of RRF funds used for each eligible use category.


  • Eligible Business Types

    • Restaurants
    • Food stands / carts/ trucks
    • Caterers
    • Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
    • Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
    • Bakeries (additional terms apply, see Application)
    • Brewpubs, tasting/tap rooms (additional terms apply, see Application)
    • Breweries, wineries, distilleries (additional terms apply, see Application)
    • Inns (additional terms apply, see Application)
  • Eligible Entity Types

    • Corporations (types C and S)
    • Partnerships
    • Limited Liability Companies
    • Sole Proprietors
    • Independent Contractors
    • Tribal businesses
  • Ineligible Applicants

    • State or local government operated businesses.
    • Non-profit businesses.
    • Publicly traded businesses.
    • Permanently closed businesses.
    • Applicants having filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or having filed or Chapter 11, 12, or 13 bankruptcy and not operating under an approved plan of reorganization.
    • Applicants owning or operating 20+ locations as of March 13, 2020 (individually or with affiliated businesses).
    • Applicants having received a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant or with a pending Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application.
    • Applicants seeking less than $1,000.

Funding Amounts

  • Minimum Amount

    • Applications must be for at least $1,000 (see Funding Calculations below).
  • Maximum Amount

    • Applicants may not apply for more than $5 Million per location or $10 Million in aggregate for the Applicant and affiliated businesses.
  • Funding Calculations

    • Applicants in operation on or prior to January 1, 2019:
      • 2019 gross receipts minus 2020 gross receipts minus PPP loan amounts
    • Applicants that commenced operation during 2019:
      • (Average 2019 monthly gross receipts x 12) minus 2020 gross receipts minus PPP loan amounts.
    • Applicants that (i) commenced operations between January 1, 2020, and March 10, 2021, or (ii) did not commence operations as of March 11, 2021, but incurred eligible expenses:
      • Amount spent on eligible expenses between February 15, 2020, and March 11, 2021, minus gross receipts for 2020 and 2021 (through March 11, 2021) minus PPP loan amounts.

Permitted Expenses

  • Business payroll costs.
  • Payments on any business mortgage obligation (principal and interest), but no prepayment.
  • Business rent payments, including rent under a lease agreement, but no prepayment.
  • Business debt service (principal and interest), but no prepayment.
  • Business utility payments (e.g., electricity, gas, water, telephone, internet access) for which service began before March 11, 2021.
  • Business maintenance expenses (e.g., maintenance on walls, floors, deck surfaces, furniture, fixtures, and equipment).
  • Construction of outdoor seating.
  • Business supplies, including protective equipment and cleaning materials.
  • Business food and beverage expenses, including raw materials for beer, wine, or spirits.
  • Covered supplier costs, which are expenditures made by the Applicant to a supplier of goods for goods that:
    • Are essential to the operations of the entity at the time at which the expenditure is made; and
    • Are made pursuant to a contract, order, or purchase order in effect at any time before the receipt of RRF funds; or
    • With respect to perishable goods, a contract, order, or purchase order in effect between February 15, 2020 and March 11, 2023 (subject to additional terms, if applicable).

This article is not intended to be a comprehensive overview of the RRF, nor is it intended to provide anything more than a brief summary of those rules available at the time this article is published.

RIW will continue to provide updates relative to COVID-19 relief programs, including the Restaurant Relief Fund, and related legislation as additional guidance becomes available.

Michael J. Barone, Jr. is an attorney in Ruberto, Israel & Weiner’s Commercial Real Estate Group and can be reached at 617-570-3511 or

For regular updates, follow RIW on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

This summary is presented for informational and educational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, nor create an attorney-client relationship. For a full understanding of the issues, please contact counsel of your choice.

POSTED IN: COVID-19, Hospitality Practice Group, News

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