Legislation would add an additional $60 billion to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund
With the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) announcement that the Restaurant Revitalization Fund is closed, the Brewers Association is renewing our call for Congress to pass the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act, and provide additional funding to the program. Hospitality businesses like breweries were severely impacted by COVID-19 and are still recovering from the pandemic. It is imperative that every brewery and small hospitality business that qualified for funding receives it.
According to the SBA, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund program received more than 278,000 submitted eligible applications, representing over $72.2 billion in requested funds. The program distributed $28.6 billion to more than 100,000 breweries, restaurants, bars, and other hospitality businesses.
The following is a breakdown of the dispersal of the grants:
- Women-owned businesses received $7.5 billion.
- Veteran-owned businesses received $1 billion.
- Socially and economically disadvantaged-owned businesses received $6.7 billion.
- Businesses owned by representatives of multiple underserved populations received $2.8 billion.
- Eligible applicants not identified as part of an underserved group received $10.6 billion.
Based on Brewers Association estimates, small and independent breweries received close to $500 million in grants to cover losses experienced in 2020. While this is a good start to helping the industry have a strong recovery, it remains critical that all qualified businesses be treated fairly. If a qualified brewery applied for a Restaurant Revitalization Fund grant, they should receive it.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on the brewing industry, resulting in large revenue losses due to a decline in own-premise and draft sales. Even now as the economy is reopening, breweries are still paying for costs incurred from the past 16 months. It is imperative that additional funding be added to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to help taprooms, brewpubs, and other hospitality businesses continue to recover.
Senators Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Wicker (R-Miss.) and Representatives Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) introduced the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act, legislation that would add an additional $60 billion to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Advocating for more funding for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund is a top priority for the Brewers Association.
We encourage our members to contact their elected officials and ask them to co-sponsor and pass the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act. Grassroots has been an effective tool for our industry; breweries were not included in the first version of the RESTAURANTS Act, but thanks to our lobbying and advocacy, thousands of breweries were able to apply for Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants. Help our efforts in D.C.: contact your legislators today.