Money will soon become available to help restaurants struggling in the wake of COVID-19.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced this week that the $28.6 billion program aimed at helping restaurants impacted by the pandemic will begin accepting applications for grant funding beginning on Monday, May 3 at 6 am HST. Registration for the SBA application portal will begin on Friday, April 30.
The new SBA program, known as the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, was created through COVID-19 relief legislation passed by Congress and signed into law in March.
“For restaurants and bars in Hawai‘i, help is here,” said US Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “This pandemic has been particularly brutal for businesses that depend on people being able to gather and share a meal in person so this new funding will be a big help.”
Eligible grant recipients include restaurants, food stands or trucks, bars or lounges, caterers or similar businesses where the primary purpose is serving food or drinks. Of the total amount, $5 billion is set aside for the smallest businesses with 2019 gross receipts of $500,000 or less.
The grant is equal to the business’s pandemic-related revenue loss (2019 gross receipts minus 2020 gross receipts), limited to $5 million per physical location and $10 million total for the applying business entity. In order to be eligible, on-site sales to the public most have comprised at least 33% of an entity’s gross receipts in 2019.
The program will also begin with a 21-day priority period for women-, veteran-, and disadvantaged/minority-owned businesses.
For program eligibility, guidelines, and a sample application, visit the program website.