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HUNTINGTON — Open applications will begin at noon Monday for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, a federal program to help food establishments that have experienced economic distress and significant operational losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The online application will remain open to any eligible establishment until all funds are exhausted, according to Small Business Administration Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman.

“Restaurants are the core of our neighborhoods and propel economic activity on main streets across the nation. They are among the businesses that have been hardest hit and need support to survive this pandemic. We want restaurants to know that help is here,” Guzman said in a news release. “The SBA has focused on the marketplace realities of our food and beverage businesses in designing the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to meet businesses where they are. And we are committed to equity to ensure our smaller and underserved businesses, which have suffered the most, can access this critical relief, recover, and grow more resilient.”

Established under the American Rescue Plan, and signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund provides a total of $28.6 billion in direct relief funds to restaurants and other hard-hit food establishments that have experienced economic distress and significant operational losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the release stated.

“This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location,” the release said. “Funds must be used for allowable expenses by March 11, 2023.”

In preparation, the SBA recommends qualifying applicants familiarize themselves with the application process in advance to ensure a smooth and efficient application experience, specifically by:

  • Registering for an account in advance at restaurants.sba.gov.
  • Reviewing the official guidance, including program guide, frequently asked questions, and application sample.
  • Preparing the required documentation.
  • Working with a point-of-sale vendor or visiting restaurants.sba.gov to submit an application when the application portal opens. If an applicant is working with a point-of-sale vendor, they do not need to register beforehand on the site.
  • Attending a live recorded virtual training webinar Wednesday, May 5.

For the first 21 days that the program is open, the SBA will prioritize funding applications from businesses owned and controlled by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. All eligible applicants are encouraged to submit applications as soon as the portal opens. Following the 21 days, all eligible applications will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, visit sba.gov/restaurants.

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