May 6th, 2021

How to Apply for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF)

Applications for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) officially opened on May 3, 2021. RRF was created by the American Rescue Plan Act (the “Act”) to provide restaurants and other eligible businesses with grants equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss. SBA will be administering and dispersing the RRF grants on a first-come first-served basis. SBA has released its Guidelines (updated as of April 28, 2021), Sample Application, and FAQs. Is your business eligible, and if so, how can you apply for a Restaurant Revitalization Fund grant?

Who is eligible?

Under the Act, the term “eligible entity” means a restaurant, food stand, food truck, food cart, caterer, saloon, inn, tavern, bar, lounge, brewpub, tasting room, taproom, bakery, breweries, microbreweries, wineries, distilleries, licensed facility or premise of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products, or other similar place of business in which the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of being served food or drink.

Entities are not eligible if:

  • part of a publicly-traded company,
  • owned by a state or local government,
  • owned or operated, as of March 13, 2020 (together with any affiliated business), in more than 20 locations,
  • have a pending application or received a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG).

SBA guidance provides that a business may be eligible if it purchased an eligible business and now wants to apply for the RRF funds. If an applicant does not have the financial records from the previous owner (including payroll records), applicants may apply using Application Table 3 (see Sample Application). If applicants have the financial records from the previous owner (including payroll records) applicants should apply using the appropriate Table that corresponds to the length of time the business has been open.

Regardless of which Table is used in the application, applicants must include all Paycheck Protection Program loans received by the business in 2020 and/or 2021, regardless of ownership, in line 3 on Table 1, 2, or 3 of the applicant’s funding calculation.

How much funding is available?

In total, $5 billion is set aside for applicants with 2019 gross receipts of not more than $500,000; an additional $4 billion is set-aside for applicants with 2019 gross receipts from $500,001 to $1,500,000; and, an additional $500 million is set-aside for applicants with 2019 gross receipts of not more than $50,000. 

The grant amount will be equal to the “pandemic-related revenue loss” of an eligible entity: 

  • For businesses in operation before January 1, 2019: Take 2020 gross receipts minus 2019 gross receipts and subtract the total amount of all PPP loans received.
  • For businesses that opened in 2019: Take the average of 2019 gross receipts and multiply that average by 12. Then take the average of your 2020 gross receipts and multiply that by 12. Subtract the 2020 amount from the 2019 amount, then subtract any PPP loans received.
  • For businesses that opened between January 1, 2020 and March 10, 2021: Funding will be equal to the eligible expenses incurred in 2020 minus gross receipts and any PPP funding received.

The maximum grant size is $10 million per restaurant group and $5 million per individual restaurant. Amounts received under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) will not be used to deduct from the total RRF grant amount eligible and will not disqualify businesses from participating in RRF.

What periods are covered and how can funds be used? 

Covered Period under the RRF means the period beginning on February 15, 2020, and ending on March 11, 2023. If a business permanently closes, the Covered Period will end when the business permanently closes or on March 11, 2023, whichever occurs sooner.

During the “Covered Period,” an eligible entity that receives a grant may use grant funds for the following eligible expenses incurred as a direct result of, or during, the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Payroll costs;
  • Payments of principal or interest on any mortgage obligation (which shall not include any prepayment of principal on a mortgage obligation);
  • Rent payments, including rent under a lease agreement (which shall not include any prepayment of rent);
  • Utilities;
  • Maintenance expenses, including construction to accommodate outdoor seating; and walls, floors, deck surfaces, furniture, fixtures, and equipment;
  • Supplies, including protective equipment and cleaning materials;
  • Food and beverage expenses that are within the scope of the normal business practice of the eligible entity before the Covered Period;
  • Covered supplier costs, as defined in Section 7A(a) of the Small Business Act (as re-designated, transferred, and amended by Section 304(b) of the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act (Public Law 116–260));
  • Operational expenses;
  • Paid sick leave; and
  • Any other expenses that the Administrator determines to be essential to maintaining the eligible entity. 

Grant funds must be used for the eligible expenses by March 11, 2023, on eligible expenses incurred during the Covered Period. If an eligible entity is unable to use all of the funds received on eligible expenses by the end of the Covered Period, it must return to the Treasury the unused funds.

When will businesses receive their Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants?

During the initial 21-day period grants will be prioritized to eligible entities that are small business concerns owned and controlled by women (as defined in Section 3(n) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632(n)))1, small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans (as defined in Section 3(q) of such Act (15 U.S.C. 632(q))), or socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns (as defined in Section 8(a)(4)(A) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(a)(4)(A))).

The SBA considers an applicant to be eligible for priority in awarding funds if the applicant is a small business that is at least 51% owned by one or more individuals who are women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged and if the management and daily business operations of the applicant are controlled by one or more women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

An applicant may not reorganize ownership on or after March 11, 2021, for the purpose of qualification for the priority period. Such reorganization will result in automatic disqualification of the award. Although applicants self-certify that they are eligible as one of the priority groups, SBA reserves the right to request documentation from any applicant. Further, the SBA FAQ do not consider a business owned 50/50 by a couple to meet eligibility for a priority group if only one of the individuals meets the priority group criteria.

How to apply for a Restaurant Revitalization Fund grant

Businesses may apply through SBA directly at, through a recognized SBA Restaurant Partner, or by calling 844-279-8898.

The following documentation will be required: 

  • Application SBA Form 3172 
  • Verification of Tax Information (IRS Form 4506-T)
  • Gross Receipts Documentation, such as business tax returns (IRS Form 1120 or 1120-S), IRS Form 1040 Schedule C; IRS Form 1040 Schedule F; for partnerships, IRS Form 1065 (including K-1’s); bank statements; Income Statements or Profit and Loss Statements; Point of Sale Reports (including IRS form 1099-K, as applicable;
  • Applicants that are a brewpub, tasting room, taproom, brewery, winery, distillery, or bakery will also have to provide documents evidencing that onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts for 2019;
  • PPP Loan Documents, if applicable (Note: applicants will have to inventory the expenses asked for PPP forgiveness because they cannot use the RRF grant funding for the same expenses the PPP funds were used for).

We will continue to stay on top of developments and let you know of any relevant changes.

Safa Ashrafi and Thomas E. Reilly, Jr. are members of the Business Services group, providing legal counsel to local, regional and national businesses.


The content found in this resource is for informational reference use only and is not considered legal advice. Laws at all levels of government change frequently and the information found here may be or become outdated. It is recommended to consult your attorney for the most up-to-date information regarding current laws and legal matters.