New Restaurant Revitalization Funding Program (RRF)

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is preparing to launch the Restaurant Revitalization Funding Program (RRF).   In order to help you apply, we have outlined some general information about the program below.

Basic information about the RRF:

  • What is the RRF? It’s a new federal program established under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) that was passed on March 11.  The purpose of the RRF is to provide financial support to eligible businesses that suffered revenue losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Where can I learn more about the RRF program? Here’s a link to the SBA’s RRF web page.
  • Funding amounts: In general, restaurants may request an amount equal to the reduction in gross receipts they experienced in 2020 as compared to 2019.  Note that the RRF rules require that PPP funds received must be counted as gross receipts for 2020 in determining the maximum eligible funding amount.
  • Not a loan: Unlike the Paycheck Protection Program, the RRF is not a loan and does not require a bank to process the application.  The SBA will accept applications directly.
  • Allowable uses of funds: Funds must be used for specific expenditures stated in the application.
  • How long will the funds be available? The RRF program has been funded with nearly $29 billion.  However, it is unclear how long that the funds will be available.

Application process:

  • The SBA has recently released a “sample” application form (attached).
  • When can I apply? The SBA is not yet accepting applications.  However, on Saturday April 17, they announced:

“The official application launch date will be announced shortly…For the first 21 days that the program is open, the SBA will prioritize reviewing applications from small businesses owned by women, veterans and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Following the 21-day period, all eligible applicants are encouraged to submit applications.”

  • POS Technology Partners – Details are still sketchy, but the SBA announced that they have partnered with a group of point-of-sale (POS) service providers including Clover, NCR, Square and Toast (full list here) to help expedite the application process.  It appears that each of these “technology partners” are developing their own approach to helping applicants with RRF. We suggest you contact your POS provider to determine if they are participating and how their approach might help you prepare and expedite your application. The SBA’s announcement also states that “while SBA encourages applicants to use the POS ecosystem, applicants without access to point-of-sale service providers can submit their application electronically at restaurants.sba.gov.

Next steps

If you wish to apply to the RRF program, we recommend that you begin preparing now and monitor the SBA’s RRF application website so that you will know when you can submit your application.

Here’s a link to the “sample” RRF application recently released by the SBA.  While this is not the final version, we don’t expect dramatic changes.  We suggest you use the sample form to begin gathering information and preparing your application so that you’re ready to submit it via the SBA’s website as soon as it is launched. We encourage restaurant owners to prepare now and apply as soon as possible.