PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ The National Retail Association estimates that 11% of Rhode Island’s jobs are in the food service industry.
That’s why Rhode Island’s congressional delegation is urging the owners of local restaurants to apply for grants through the newly-launched Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
“While the restaurant and beverage establishment industry has been extraordinarily resilient, resiliency does not pay the rent,” Sen. Jack Reed said.
The $28.6 billion federal grant program is made possible by the American Rescue Plan.
Bill Kitsilis, the vice chairman of the Rhode Island Hospitality Association, called the fund “a vital part of our recovery.”
According to the SBA’s website, the following businesses are eligible to receive grants from Restaurant Revitalization Fund:
- Food stands, food trucks and food carts
- Catering companies
- Bars, saloons, lounges and taverns
- Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
These businesses are only eligible if onsite sales to the public make up at least 33% of gross receipts:
- Brewpubs, tasting rooms and taprooms
- Breweries and/or microbreweries
- Wineries and distilleries
- Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample or purchase products
Eligible business owners will be allowed to spend the grant money on any of the following: Payroll, mortgage and rent payments, business debt service, utilities, maintenance, outdoor seating, business supplies, food and beverage costs, certain supplier costs and operating expenses.
The grants of up to $10 million per business will be based on lost revenue.
The SBA is prioritizing small businesses owned by at least 50% of women, veterans or minorities for the first 21 days, but that doesn’t mean those who aren’t prioritized can’t apply.
Business owners can apply directly online or through SBA-recognized Point-of-Sale vendors.
Anyone who needs help applying for the program can call the SBA hotline at 1-844-279-8898 or email RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov.