Established through the American Rescue Plan Act in the spring of 2021, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund is a $28.6 billion federal grant program administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help eligible businesses recover from devastating COVID-19 pandemic-related revenue loss. 

To date, 278,304 restaurants applied for RRF grants and were awarded $28.6 billion. Yet, 177,000 eligible restaurants who applied for grants did not receive them, to the tune of $43.6 billion in unfunded applications. 

Restaurants are restoring indoor dining, but they remain in dire need of assistance. A smaller workforce, rising food and payroll prices, increased occupancy costs, and supply chain delays place greater financial strains on restaurants already struggling on thin margins. 

The RRF has been a critical lifeline for restaurants across the country, helping them rebuild from the damaging effects of COVID-19. Since the RRF’s closing in July, legislation has been introduced in Congress to replenish the RRF. Specifically, the RRF Replenishment Act will direct $60 billion in funding to the SBA, allowing the agency to complete the mission and provide sorely needed recovery dollars for the restaurant industry. 

In an effort to educate policymakers in a bipartisan effort on the critical need to replenish the RRF, the Association is engaging in a congressional communication campaign which includes a months-long series of outreach efforts updating members of Congress with the latest economic data and industry-wide research findings and grassroots advocacy messaging. 

Without help from Congress, thousands of restaurants will continue to struggle to remain open and serve their communities.