UPDATED: Preparing to apply for forthcoming bar and restaurant grants

Published Tuesday, April 20, 2021 12:00 pm

UPDATE Apr. 20, 2021: The federal government has changed the way bars and restaurants are going to apply for these grants. They will no longer require DUNS and SAM numbers/registrations. 

The RRF application requirements, eligibility, and a program guide are now available in English at www.sba.gov/restaurants or in Spanish at www.sba.gov/restaurantes. While not yet open, the application portal is at restaurants.sba.gov.

Original article Mar. 23, 2021:

Thanks to the efforts of the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC), which was formed during COVID-19 to support the nation's 500,000 local bars and restaurants and the 11 million people they employ, a $28.6 billion restaurant and bar grant program administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will be made available soon through the American Rescue Plan. The IRC encourages all restaurant and bar owners to learn about the grant program, how it could affect them, and start taking steps now to ensure the $760 billion industry will continue thriving in the post-pandemic environment.

These restaurant grants may be used in tandem with PPP, EIDL, and the Employee Retention Tax Credit to help vulnerable businesses survive the remainder of the pandemic. Eligible businesses include food service or drinking establishments -- including caterers, brewpubs, taprooms, and tasting rooms -- not part of an affiliated group with more than 20 locations.

While the SBA prepares to stand up the program, businesses should take steps to organize the materials necessary to submit an application once it is available.

To receive a grant you will need a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and be registered with the System for Award Management (SAM). You will not be able to apply or receive payments without establishing your business in both of these systems. Registration will take time to process, so make sure to get this done ASAP. Both DUNS and SAM are free to use.

To register for a DUNS number, or search for an existing number go to their website or call 1-866-705-5711.

To register for SAM you first must create an account at login.gov. Then you’ll need to go to the SAM website and log in using the new account you just created at login.gov. Please note that when asked why you are registering, the correct response is “To apply for Federal financial assistance opportunities only.”

How to calculate your anticipated grant funding:

  • For restaurants in operation before 2019: You take your 2019 gross revenues minus 2020 gross revenue and subtract the total amount of your PPP loans (First and Second, if applicable) you received.
  • For restaurants that opened in 2019: Take the average of your 2019 monthly gross revenues and multiple that average by 12. Subtract your 2020 revenues from that total, and then and subtract the total amount of your PPP loans (First and Second, if applicable) you received.
  • For restaurants that opened in 2020: You are eligible to receive funding equal to eligible expenses incurred in 2020.

Eligible expenses include payroll and benefits (not including employee compensation exceeding $100,000/year), mortgage (no prepayment), rent (no prepayment), utilities, maintenance, supplies (including protective equipment and cleaning materials), food, operational expenses, covered supplier costs as defined by the SBA under the Second Draw PPP program, sick leave, and any other expenses deemed essential by the Administrator.

For more information, resources, guides for contacting legislators, and to subscribe to the IRC's newsletter, visit www.saverestaurants.com or download the information sheets below.