On Monday at noon ET, the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Restaurant Revitalization Fund will begin accepting applications. This $28.6 billion grant program is specifically designed to help restaurants whose business has significantly dropped because of closures and crowd size restrictions due to Covid-19. If you are a restaurant owner and need financial support, you should apply today. 

“Over the last year, few reminders of the economic pain of this pandemic have been as stark as seeing our favorite local restaurants closed,” said John Stanford, Co-Executive Director of the Small Business Roundtable. “With the launch of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, these businesses and their employees see a light at the end of the tunnel. We know more must be done, but commend SBA and the White House for moving swiftly to open this needed relief tool.”

SBA has conducted outreach across the country, meeting with Black, Hispanic, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Native, LGBTQ, Women and Veteran restaurant owners, and has found that demand for Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants exceeds the available amount of funding. The agency has participated in a number of roundtables to help restaurant owners prepare for applying. 

“Restaurants asked and Congress listened. Independent restaurants and bars come in all shapes and sizes, and existing one-size-fits all Covid-19 relief policies like PPP left out a large majority of these businesses. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund will be a lifeline for many of the 11 million people who depend on this industry for a paycheck, but we have more work to do. Demand for relief is massive – over 41,000 people registered on the SBA’s website within one hour of going live – and Congress will likely need to legislate additional funds for this program,”  said Erika Polmar, Executive Director of the Independent Restaurant Coalition, which launched during the pandemic. 

Here are three key steps you can take to apply today. 

1. Register for the Program. Go ahead and visit SBA.gov/restaurants to determine if you’re eligible for a grant because this site has all of the documentation and instructions you’ll need. If you are eligible, you can register for the program now at Restaurants.SBA.gov, which will make it easier to apply once the application process opens. 


2. Make Sure you Have all the Necessary Information to Apply. Restaurant owners that were open before 2020 will first need their Employer Identification Number, Social Security Number, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, as well as an address for yourself and anyone that owns more than 20 percent of your business. You will also need:

  • 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)
  • Proof of your approved reorganization plan if you have filed for bankruptcy
  • Gross receipts documentation, which are documents demonstrating gross receipts and eligible expenses, which include business tax returns (IRS Form 1120 or 1120-S), IRS Forms 1040 Schedule C or F, partnership IRS Form 1065 (including K-1s), bank statements, financial statements, such as income statements or profit and loss statements, and IRS Form 1099-K

Applicants that opened restaurants in 2020 will need three months of bank statements, filed or prepared 2020 federal tax returns filed, 2020 and 2021 point of sales reports, a CPA comfort letter, payroll documents (941s), outdoor seating expenditures invoices and payments, and business debt lender loan statements.

Owners of a brewpub, tasting room, taproom, brewery, winery, distillery, or bakery will need documents that show evidencing that show onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33 percent of gross receipts for 2019, which may include Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) Forms 5130.9. For businesses who opened in 2020, the applicant’s original business model should have projected at least 33 percent of gross receipts in onsite sales. 

Inn owners will need documents showing that onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33 percent of gross receipts for 2019. For businesses who opened in 2020, the applicant’s original business model should have projected at least 33 percent of gross receipts in onsite sales.

3. Seek Help if Needed. If you need assistance with your application, reach out to the SBA for assistance in preparing your application. The agency’s call center support is available at 1-844-279-8898 Monday through Friday from 8:00 am-8:00 pm ET, and you can also contact your local SBA District Office.

“The SBA has resources in more than 30 different languages to help restaurant owners apply for this funding and we are here to help answer any questions in helping them sustain their business,” said Han Nguyen, Deputy Associate Administrator of Office of Communications and Public Liaison for SBA. 

This has been an unprecedentedly tough year for all businesses, especially restaurants. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund will help those are struggling survive. If you are a restaurant owner and need support, apply for a grant as soon as possible.