$28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund open for applications

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 4:15 PM CDT
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FOX VALLEY, Wis. (WBAY) - The Small Business Administration (SBA) started accepting applications for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund on Monday.

“We have a lot of interest, we’re getting a lot of phone calls,” said Wisconsin SBA District Director Eric Ness.

Restaurants, breweries, coffee houses and the like are looking to get some of the $28.6 billion dollars available in the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which is part of the American Rescue Plan Act.

“Really it’s a focus on helping these businesses get going again, giving the financial boost they need so they can do what they do really great which is serve us,” said Ness. “They’ve done a lot of great pivoting. I mean the takeout, delivery, those were great things. But, you know, in the end they need to break even, and they need the funds so we can help them through this.”

Ness says this program is different from past relief efforts like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), because it can be utilized in more ways specific to the industry.

“Not only can you do payroll costs but you can do construction for outdoor seating, which of course a lot of businesses are doing to get more customers in,” said Ness. “Some business maintenance supplier costs and you can also pay business debt.”

There are also measures to ensure the funding is going to smaller or disadvantaged businesses.

During the first 21 days, applications from women, people of color, veterans and other socially and economically disadvantaged groups will be prioritized.

There is also $500 million set aside for businesses earning no more than $50,000 a year in gross sales, $5 billion set aside for those that earn no more than $500,000, and $4 billion set aside for those earning between $500,001 and $1.5 million

“We’re really trying to focus and help these smaller businesses to get the funding they need so we can keep those food trucks and coffee shops open,” said Ness.

Applications are open now and take roughly 20 to 25 minutes to fill out.

Ness says they have online video tutorials about the process or owners can also call a help line at so someone can guide them through the application in real time if needed.

“Make sure that businesses have the information they need so they can make these decisions and get these applications in,” said Ness.

He urges eligible candidates to apply as soon as possible.

“Wisconsin businesses get in there and get your application in and time stamped,” said Ness.

Get more information on the program and a link to register and apply HERE.

People can also call the help line at 1-844-279-8898

To watch SBA’s video about the application process CLICK HERE.

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