COLUMBIA, S.C. — Starting on Monday at Noon, restaurant owners, who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, can start applying for the nearly $29B Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). The funds are a part of President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan, which was signed in March.
The Small Business Association said business owners can apply for grants up to $10 million per establishment, and $5 million per location.
Sean McCrossin, Owner of Drip!, said the pandemic hurt their sales for two quarters in a row.
“You know we've bounced back now, but we were down 65% there for two quarters," McCrossin said. "I think for us, it would help plan the next two years out; which would indeed help, I think, raise payroll.”
The $28.6B relief is eligible to restaurants, food stands and food trucks, bars, and snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars.
Another business that's taking advantage of the RRF, Greedy Rascals on Rosewood.
“I really have a lot of college crowds and because the pandemic you know school where a lot of kids went bad, so it kind of threw me off," said Brandon Johnson, Owner of Greedy Rascals.
Johnson told News 19 he is applying for the RRF because small local businesses are essential to the community. He also hopes the funds will allow him to grow his business and provide more opportunities for those in the community.
“I can grow and continue to pay young people to come work for me, to give people opportunities for or a job," Johnson said. "A lot of us need it too, so we can really stay open and keep the bills paid, take care of our families."
Owners who receive funds do not have to repay them back, but they must use all of the allocated funds on eligible uses by March 11, 2023.
Funds may be used for specific expenses including:
- Business payroll costs (including sick leave)
- Payments on any business mortgage obligation
- Business rent payments (note: this does not include prepayment of rent)
- Business debt service (both principal and interest; note: this does not include any prepayment of principal or interest)
- Business utility payments
- Business maintenance expenses
- Construction of outdoor seating
- Business supplies (including protective equipment and cleaning materials)
- Business food and beverage expenses (including raw materials)
- Covered supplier costs
- Business operating expenses
Funding allocation is based off a calculation set by the SBA:
CALCULATION 1: for applicants in operation prior to or on January 1, 2019: 2019 gross receipts minus 2020 gross receipts minus PPP loan amounts.
CALCULATION 2: for applicants that began operations partially through 2019: (Average 2019 monthly gross receipts x 12) minus 2020 gross receipts minus PPP loan amounts.
CALCULATION 3: for applicants that began operations on or between January 1, 2020 and March 10, 2021 and applicants not yet opened but have incurred eligible expenses: Amount spent on eligible expenses between February 15, 2020 and March 11, 2021 minus 2020 gross receipts minus 2021 gross receipts (through March 11, 2021) minus PPP loan amounts.
For those entities who began operations partially through 2019, you may elect (at your own discretion) to use either calculation 2 or calculation 3.
Restaurants can apply online on the application portal. The applications will be open until funds are exhausted.