Washington, D.C. (June 17, 2021) – Today, the National Restaurant Association sent a letter to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) outlining the impact of their recent action to rescind 2,965 Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) grant approvals. The affected owners, all part of the priority application group established as part of the grant program, were left reeling last week after the SBA announced that they would withdraw their grant approvals and reappropriate the funds to other applications.

“The acceptance letter they received from the SBA represented a commitment to provide not only federal funding, but also a needed bit of hope that they would survive to serve their community,” said Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of Public Affairs for the National Restaurant Association, in his letter to the SBA. “The announcement that their grants will be awarded to others has left them confused, frustrated, and afraid they will have to close their doors for good. We urge you to review all pandemic relief programs under your control for the prospect of any appropriate reprogramming of federal dollars to fulfill your prior commitments to them.”

More than 362,000 restaurants applied for more than $75 billion in RRF grants and it’s expected that nearly $50 billion in applications will remain unfunded. The total number of applicants is about 55% of the total number of eating and drinking establishments open in Feb. 2020, demonstrating the tremendous financial need impeding these small businesses’ road to recovery.

The Association supports the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act that was recently introduced by the co-sponsors of the RESTAURANTS Act. 

Read the full letter to the SBA here.



Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15.6 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We sponsor the industry's largest trade show (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart). For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.

Contact: Vanessa Sink (202) 331-5900