The restaurant industry has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. From full closures, to dining restrictions and limited hours, the pandemic has decimated the industry, especially here in Western New York. Fortunately, there is some help available.
On May 3 at noon, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will begin accepting applications for grants available through its Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). This program was part of the American Rescue Plan Act passed on March 11.
The RRF program will provide a restaurant with funding equal to its pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location.
This money does not need to be repaid, as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.
It is important to note, this program is open to more than just traditional brick and mortar restaurants. Qualifying businesses include:
- Food stands, food trucks, food carts
- Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
- Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
- Bakeries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
- Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
- Breweries and/or microbreweries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
- Wineries and distilleries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
- Inns (onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
- Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase product
Similar to the Paycheck Protection Program, the process to apply requires a fair amount of work and documentation. Business owners who wish to apply for grant money can follow the following steps:
- Visit the SBA site to register for the application process. This portal opened on April 30
- Beginning May 3 at noon, return to the site and complete the application
Applicants will be required to submit the following documentation as part of the application:
- Verification for Tax Information: IRS Form 4506-T, completed and signed by Applicant. Completion of this form digitally on the SBA platform will satisfy this requirement.
- Gross Receipts Documentation: Any of the following documents demonstrating gross receipts and, if applicable, eligible expenses
- Business tax returns (IRS Form 1120 or IRS 1120-S)
- IRS Forms 1040 Schedule C; IRS Forms 1040 Schedule F
- For a partnership: partnership’s IRS Form 1065 (including K-1s)
- Bank statements
- Externally or internally prepared financial statements such as Income Statements or Profit and Loss Statements
- Point of sale report(s), including IRS Form 1099-K
For applicants that are a brewpub, tasting room, taproom, brewery, winery, distillery, or bakery:
- Documents evidencing that onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33.00% of gross receipts for 2019, which may include Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) Forms 5130.9 or TTB. For businesses who opened in 2020, the Applicant’s original business model should have contemplated at least 33.00% of gross receipts in onsite sales to the public.
For applicants that are an inn:
- Documents evidencing that onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33.00% of gross receipts for 2019. For businesses who opened in 2020, the Applicant’s original business model should have contemplated at least 33.00% of gross receipts in onsite sales to the public.
Our Business and Corporate Law team work closely with business owners on all aspects of their businesses, including navigating complex governmental programs such as this one. If you have any questions, give attorney Trevor Torcello a call today, 716-854-4300 ext. 227. www.gross-shuman.com