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UPDATED: How to Get Ready for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund

Tips from the IRC to prep your application

Ashley Kosiak

May 14, 2021

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Employees packaging items for takeout at Di an Di in Brooklyn photo by Clay Williams
Photo: Clay Williams
Updated 5/13/21:
Since applications for the Restaurant Relief Fund (RRF) opened on May 3, the Small Business Association reports that over 266,000 people have requested over $65 billion in funds.
If you still need to apply, the fund application is here.
If you have applied and received funds, the Independent Restaurant Coalition has provided resources on how to document your funds, and a survey to share your story—one of the most effective ways to demonstrate the need of the fund to lawmakers.


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The James Beard Foundation is proud to work with the Independent Restaurant Coalition in advocating for restaurants across the country. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), passed in the American Rescue Plan, provides vital grants for independent restaurants, bars, and some other food businesses. The Small Business Association (SBA) recently released guidelines for the forthcoming RRF. Read on for IRC recommended steps for preparing your application for the fund.

The SBA has announced that RRF applications will be open at 12:00 P.M. ET on Monday, May 3, 2021. The application portal website will be restaurants.sba.gov. You can set up your application account as early as Friday, April 30 at 9 A.M. ET at restaurants.sba.gov. The IRC is recommending potential applicants create their account on Friday so that they are ready to submit their application on Monday.

1. Visit SBA.gov/restaurants to determine if you’re eligible for a grant. This site has all of the documentation and instructions you’ll need.

2. Join a restaurant relief round table to learn how you can prepare to apply. IRC is hosting six events with guests from the Small Business Administration (SBA) this week; you can join any of them and also watch the recordings on demand. Register on IRC's resources page here.  ​​​​

3. Make sure you have the information you’ll need to apply ready to go:

  • The EIN/SSN/ITIN and address for yourself and anyone that owns more than 20% of your business
  • PPP Loan numbers
  • List of affiliated businesses. An affiliate business is a business in which the eligible Applicant business has an ownership interest of not less than 50 percent, or in which the eligible Applicant business has the contractual authority to control the direction of the other business, based on arrangements or agreements in place as of March 13, 2020
  • If you’ve filed bankruptcy, proof of your approved reorganization plan
  • Gross Receipts Documentation: Any of the following documents demonstrating gross receipts and, if applicable, eligible expenses:
    • Business tax returns (IRS Form 1120 or 1120-S)
    • IRS Forms 1040 Schedule C or F
    • For a partnership: partnership’s IRS Form 1065 (including K-1s)
    • Bank statements
    • Financial statements such as Income Statements or Profit and Loss Statements
    • POS report(s), IRS Form 1099-K
  • For applicants that opened in 2020: Three months of bank statements, 2020 Federal Tax Returns filed or 2020 Federal Tax Returns (Prepared but not yet filed), 2020 and 2021 Point of Sales Reports, CPA Comfort Letter, Payroll Documents (941s), Outdoor Seating Expenditures (Invoices / Payments), Business Debt (lender loan statements)
  • For applicants that are a brewpub, tasting room, taproom, brewery, winery, distillery, or bakery: Documents evidencing that onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33.00% of gross receipts for 2019, which may include Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) Forms 5130.9 or TTB. For businesses who opened in 2020, the Applicant’s original business model should have contemplated at least 33.00% of gross receipts in onsite sales to the public
  • For applicants that are an inn: Documents evidencing that onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33.00% of gross receipts for 2019. For businesses who opened in 2020, the Applicant’s original business model should have contemplated at least 33.00% of gross receipts in onsite sales to the public

4. If needed, reach out to the SBA for assistance preparing your application. Call center support is available at 1-844-279-8898 (hours: Monday to Friday 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. ET) and you can also contact your local SBA District Office.

5. Apply on day one—or as soon as possible—to start your process and help demonstrate our industry’s need for this program. The SBA has announced applications will open at 12 P.M. ET on Monday, May 3, 2021.

Tune into our webinar with the Independent Restaurant Coalition all about the Restaurant Revitalization Fund on April 28 at 3:30 P.M. ET to learn more. Register here.

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Ashley Kosiak is director of programs at the James Beard Foundation.