Governor Gretchen Whitmer today encouraged restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments across Michigan hard hit by COVID-19 to apply for $28.6 billion in federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund direct relief being provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration under the American Rescue Plan.
Registration for the funding will begin at 9 a.m. EDT on Friday, April 30, 2021, with the application itself opening at noon EDT on Monday, May 3, 2021.
For the first 21 days the program is open, the SBA will prioritize funding applications from businesses owned and controlled by women, veterans and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. All eligible applicants are encouraged to submit applications as soon as the portal opens. Following the 21 days, all eligible applications will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis with the online application remaining open to any eligible establishment until all funds are exhausted.
“Restaurant owners and other food establishments have made incredible sacrifices over the past year to keep their communities safe and slow the spread of COVID-19,” Whitmer said. “This vital relief will help ensure they can keep their doors open and continue to serve their communities while also ensuring their workers can stay employed entering the critical summer season.”
Eligible businesses include restaurants; food stands, food trucks, food carts; caterers; bars, saloons, lounges, taverns; brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms; breweries, wineries and distilleries; and bakeries. The minimum funding awarded will be $1,000 with businesses that remain open eligible to receive funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location.
“This is critical relief to some of our hardest hit small businesses,” said Brian Calley, president of the Small Business Association of Michigan.
“Funds are limited,” Calley added. “So I encourage eligible businesses apply as soon as the application window opens to ensure they get the support they need,”
“The Restaurant Revitalization Fund is a great program to help our restaurant and hospitality industry, which has suffered tremendous losses during COVID,” added Stephan Currie, Executive Director, Michigan Association of Counties.
“This opportunity will help revitalize our communities, while ensuring licensing revenues that our counties and health departments rely on to protect our residents are not depleted, unless county elected leaders determine their budgets can sustain it,” Currie added.
The fund includes $9.5 billion in set-asides specifically for smaller businesses: $5 billion for applicants with 2019 gross receipts of not more than $500,000; $4 billion is set aside for applicants with 2019 gross receipts from $500,001 to $1,500,000; and $500 million for applicants with 2019 gross receipts not more than $50,000. Recipients would not be required to repay the funding if the funds are used for eligible expenses no later than March 11, 2023.
“As part of our state’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, these grant dollars will provide a financial lifeline to our dining and hospitality-based businesses,” said MDARD Director Gary McDowell.
“These businesses are an integral part of our communities, helping to ensure food safety and protect public health while offering incredible guest experiences,” McDowell added. “They deserve our support, and I encourage them to take advantage of this opportunity, not only for the future of their businesses, but also for their employees, their customers and their communities.”
Other resources for economic reopening efforts as well as businesses across Michigan struggling with economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 virus can be found online at michiganbusiness.org/covid19. To learn more about MEDC’s COVID-19 response programs and the impact they are having on economic recovery efforts, visit michiganbusiness.org/covid19response.