SBA serves good news to restaurants and bars: ‘Help is here’

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — There’s good news for the restaurant industry, which has been among the hardest-hit sectors by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will provide economic relief to the hardest-hit small restaurants.

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On Thursday, April 22, SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced key details on application requirements, eligibility and a program guide.

“We are starting the process to help restaurants and bars across the country devastated by the pandemic, and this is our message: Help is here. With the launch of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, we’re prioritizing funding to the hardest-hit small businesses – irreplaceable gathering places in our neighborhoods and communities that need a lifeline now to get back on their feet,” said Guzman. “And, thanks to clear directives from Congress, we’re rolling out this program to make sure that these businesses can meet payroll, purchase supplies, and get what they need in place to transition to today’s COVID-restricted marketplace.”

Over the next two weeks, the SBA will establish a seven-day pilot period for the RRF application portal and conduct extensive training. The pilot period will assess technical issues ahead of the public launch. Participants will be randomly selected from existing PPP borrowers in priority groups for RRF and will not receive funds until the application portal is open to the public. 

The official application launch date will be announced at a later date. 

For the first 21 days that the program is open, the SBA will prioritize reviewing applications from small businesses owned by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Following that period, all eligible applicants are encouraged to submit applications.

As the SBA prepares to roll out the program, click here for up-to-date information for eligible restaurants interested in the RRF.

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