On May 12, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) had received more than 147,000 applications from women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged business owners (the funding priority group), requesting a total of $29 billion in relief funds, and that they had distributed a total of $2.7 billion of relief funds to 21,000 businesses since the Restaurant Revitalization Fund opened on May 3, 2021.
The RRF, was funded at $28.6 billion in the American Rescue Plan. SBA has been accepting applications from all eligible applicants, but only processing and the funding priority group for the first 21 days.
According to SBA’s most recent press release, the “RRF program has received more than 266,000 applications representing over $65 billion in requested funds.” With more funds requested than are currently available, it is a priority for the Brewers Association that Congress provide more funding for the RRF to ensure that every brewery, restaurant, and bar that applied for relief funds through the program receives them.
The RESTAURANTS Act (H.R.793/S.255) is bipartisan legislation currently in the House and Senate that would provide $120 billion for the RRF. Brewery members are encouraged to use the BA’s Contact Congress Form to send an email to their elected officials asking them to co-sponsor and pass the legislation.
Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), along with U.S. Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) – the primary sponsors of the RESTAURANTS Act – released a statement on the need for Congress to replenish the relief fund for local restaurants:
“We knew this rescue program would see high demand given the intense need during the economic crisis. While our work to prioritize those most in need – including the smallest businesses and priority groups identified in the legislation – appears to be successful in the first round, the extraordinary demand for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund shows that Congress must do more to help. We need to work swiftly in a bipartisan way to replenish this critical fund so that all local restaurants can access the relief required for a full recovery.”
The Brewers Association is committed to working with Congress to ensure more funds are added to the RRF. Breweries can show their support by contacting their legislators to ask them to co-sponsor the RESTAURANTS Act today.