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SBA prepares for restaurant fund launch

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The U.S. Small Business Administration has published information in English and Spanish on how restaurants, bars, bakeries, catering operations and other food and drink establishments can apply for grants from the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

The information is available at www.sba.gov/restaurants or www.sba.gov/restaurantes.

The launch date for the actual application portal will be announced at a later time. During the next two weeks, the SBA plans to test the application portal and conduct outreach and training, the agency announced on Friday.

For the first 21 days after the launch, funding priority will be given to applications submitted by businesses owned by women, veterans and socially or economically disadvantaged people.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund was created by the American Rescue Plan Act signed into law in March. Eligible entities can get grants of a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $10 million for losses incurred due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Of the $28.6 billion, $5 billion is reserved for businesses with 2019 gross receipts of $500,000 or less; $4 billion for businesses with 2019 gross receipts of $500,001 to $1.5 million; and $500 million for businesses with 2019 gross receipts of $50,000 or less.

SBA officials said that the grant program guidelines have been developed after discussions with business owners, national and state industry groups, and small business advocacy groups.

SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said the agency is aiming to make the application process streamlined and free from “bureaucratic hurdles.”

“Under my leadership, the SBA aims to be as entrepreneurial as the entrepreneurs we serve,” Guzman said, “and that means meeting every small business where they are, and giving them the support they need to recover, rebuild and thrive.”

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