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SBA administrator announces closure of Restaurant Revitalization Fund program


Tue, Jul 6th 2021 11:15 am

Over 100,000 restaurants were awarded $28.6 billion; average award was $283,000

This past Friday, U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Isabel Guzman announced the closure of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) program, signed into law by President Joe Biden as part of the American Rescue Plan. The program provided aid to restaurants and other establishments struggling to make ends meet as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund provided desperately needed relief to more than 100,000 restaurants and other food and beverage businesses across the nation with significant funding going to our hardest-hit, underserved businesses,” Guzman said. “Restaurants are at the center of our neighborhoods and propel economic activity on Main Streets. As among the first to close in this pandemic and likely the last to reopen, many are still struggling to survive. The SBA will continue to work hard to ensure they get the resources they need to recover, rebuild and be resilient.”

As of June 30, the RRF program received more than 278,000 submitted eligible applications representing over $72.2 billion in requested funds, and approximately 101,000 applicants have been approved to restaurants, bars and other restaurant-type businesses. Underserved populations received approximately $18 billion in grant awards including:

√ Women-owned businesses ~ $7.5 billion

√ Veteran-owned businesses ~ $1 billion

√ Social and economically disadvantaged-owned businesses ~ $6.7 billion

√ Businesses owned by representatives of multiple underserved populations ~ $2.8 billion

The remainder of the $28.6 billion was awarded to eligible applicants not identified as part of an underserved group.

The average size of grant awards to applicants was $283,000:

√ 2.2% of approved dollars for $50,000 and under

√ 4.9% of approved dollars for $50,000-$100,000

√ 5.6% of approved dollars for $100,000-$150,000

√ 21.2% of approved dollars for $150,000-$350,000

√ 27.2% of approved dollars for $350,000-$1 million

√ 16.4% of approved dollars for $1 million-$2 million

√ 18.0% of approved dollars for $2 million-$5 million

√ 4.6% of approved dollars for $5 million-$10 million

As outlined by Congress, restaurants and bars were eligible for economic aid equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss, with a cap of $10 million per business and $5 million per location. The funds were available for certain eligible uses, like payroll and rent.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund application platform will remain open for the next two weeks to allow applicants to check their status, address payment corrections, or ask questions. The SBA will disable access to the platform on July 14.

A press release stated, “With the closure of the RRF, the SBA will continue deliver economic aid to help small businesses recover with critical relief through programs such as the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), targeted EIDL advance and supplemental targeted advance and the Community Navigator Program. For additional information on SBA’s economic relief programs, visit COVID-19 relief options (sba.gov)

SBA Announces Extension of $100 Million Grant ‘Community Navigator Pilot’ Program

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced the extended application date for its new Community Navigator Pilot Program. SBA will accept proposal submissions through July 23, and anticipates making award decisions by September.

A press release stated, “This new initiative, established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, will leverage a community navigator approach to reach our nation’s smallest businesses, with a priority focus on those owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, as well as women and veterans. The Biden-Harris administration has made delivering equitable relief to hard-hit small businesses a top priority and will continue to take steps to ensure equitable distribution of relief.”

SBA Associate Administrator for the Office for Entrepreneurial Development Mark Madrid said, “As SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman reinforces, we have to meet small businesses where they are. This program is designed to empower a hyperlocal approach through a national network of community navigators who are on the ground truly connecting, empathizing, and tailoring solutions for our small businesses during critical recovery. This bold effort underscores our agency’s commitment to advance equity and bolster an ecosystem in which small businesses continue to apply for the diverse suite of SBA resources, services and/or programs throughout various stages of business recovery, growth, scale and/or maturity.”

The press release said, “The Community Navigator Program will have a significant impact in revitalizing small businesses through a hub and spoke ‘navigator’ featuring a lead ‘hub’ – at the center of a network of ‘spoke’ organizations that deploy trusted community advocates to work with small businesses during recovery. These networks leverage the business development expertise of the central hub organization and the community credibility of spoke organizations to better connect critical resources with small businesses, with the priority focus on those owned by women, veterans and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.”

SBA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women’s Business Ownership Natalie Madeira Cofield said, “Inclusion and access continue to be among the most important priorities for aiding small business through recovery. Our underrepresented, women and Native American businesses need our support now to grow and strengthen our economy. Community Navigators is about connecting and rebuilding community to ensure more American small businesses survive and thrive.”

Competitive grant awards will range from $1 million to $5 million for a two-year performance period. Applicants have until July 23 to submit their applications at grants.gov, Funding Opportunity Number CNP-2021-01. Performance periods are projected to commence in September. Those eligible to apply must meet and demonstrate abilities to support requirements of this funding opportunity.

For more information on the Community Navigators initiative, visit www.sba.gov/navigators.

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