Sanjeev Thakur 5 min read
When the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) $28.6 billion funding ran out after a whopping $76 billion worth of claims were filed within just 21 days after it was opened, many restaurant owners must be left wondering... what’s next? American Rescue Plan (ARPA) established the grant on May 3rd 2021 with $28.6 billion for hard-hit food-service and related businesses in hopes of providing funds to relieve their losses due to the pandemic. The RRF is a program that provides a grant of a total of $28.6 billion to businesses that continued to operate in the last two years (2019 and 2020) and are not permanently closed having a primary purpose of serving foods and/or drinks.
As of this writing, visitors to the Small Business Administration (SBA) RFF application website are greeted with the following message. So what happens to potentially hundreds of thousands of restaurant owners who couldn’t file their applications in time? And what happens to additional funding to make up for the shortfall?
Well, don’t be quick to be disheartened and give up because it appears the help is on the way. Due to the high demand of the said program, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act of 2021 was unveiled on June 11, 2021. This act provides $60 billion in additional funding by amending the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. One should also check out more SBA programs on the website and click the “Learn more” on COVID-19 Relief Options. Several programs will be listed in your screens that can help you to get additional funding and support.
Once the program is reopened, the restaurant owners shouldn’t wait and apply as soon as they can. The application online would only take 25 minutes or less to complete but make sure that as an applicant, you have entered the correct and complete data. This will help you get faster progress in your application. All applications as announced by the SBA are reviewed manually so it will take an estimate of 10-14 days before you hear back.
Those who have already applied, you might be wondering, “how do I check the progress of my application?” With the email you provided while filing the application, the website will directly send a personal email to you regarding your application, or you can log in to the Restaurant Revitalization Award Portal instead. Several restaurant owners are claiming that they have received emails. One user quotes a response they received via email, “From now until End of Business (EOB) Monday (June 14, 2021), anyone pending funding will be getting funded and whatever issues there were would be settled by Monday EOB. Some may come sooner, but their targeted goal is to have everything fixed and funded by EOB Monday!".
Some Operators also complained of their banks rejecting payment even after receiving approval from the SBA. One restaurant owner claims that a member of the Payment Correction team called and confirmed the same. They said that if the bank rejects the payment and once the SBA receives the rejection from your bank, you will receive a communication advising you to log into the application portal to update your deposit information.
Your deposit information will have to go back through the review process and this could take another 10-14 business days to complete but once this is complete, the deposit will be sent again. It’s quite a wait, but be assured that the award funds are reserved and will be sent. Once the award is approved, the funds are not subject to any new or future shortfall in the funding. They also advised that you should reach out to your banks and have them put a note on your account that you are expecting this payment, in order to help prevent you from having your funds rejected.
It has also been reported that there have been claims of scams surfacing around forums concerning the RRF so to ensure your security, make sure to reach out to your banks and the SBA website for proof of legitimacy. Please make sure to go to the SBA website directly and not click on a link received in an email from a source you don’t trust.
The additional funding is not a done deal yet. So please call and write to your local representatives and ask them to support the bill.
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