Knowledge Library

Congress Passes Legislation Creating the Restaurant Revitalization Fund

On March 10, 2021 the House of Representatives passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that was previously passed by the Senate. President Biden will sign the legislation into law on Friday, March 12, 2021. This legislation provides sweeping economic relief to the country in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including much needed grants to the restaurant industry.

To the relief of restaurants across the country, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan (“ARP”) on March 10, 2021, which will provide the country with $1.9 trillion in COVID-19 relief upon President Biden’s signature on Friday. Included in the ARP is the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (the “Fund”), which will provide restaurants with more than $20 billion in grants to assist them to overcome pan-demic-related losses.

The Fund permits grants, not loans, of up to $5,000,000 for individual restaurants up to an aggregate of $10,000,000 for restaurant groups. However, publicly traded companies and restaurants who own or operate, together with affiliates, more than 20 locations are not eligible for the grants. During the first 21 days of the Fund issuing grants, priority will be given to small businesses owned and controlled by women, veterans, and minorities. Additionally, $5 billion of the Fund are specifically earmarked for small businesses, those who had less than $500,000 in gross receipts in 2019.

The grants can be used for the following Eligible Expenses incurred as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Payroll costs, as defined within the CARES Act
  • Mortgage and rent payments (prepayment not permitted)
  • Utilities
  • Maintenance expenses
  • Food and beverage expenses within the scope of normal business practices
  • Supplies
  • Operational expenses
  • Paid sick leave

The grant a restaurant is eligible to receive from the Fund is determined based upon the following formulas that vary based upon when the restaurant commenced operations:

If the entire grant is not used prior to December 31, 2021 (though this date may be extended), or the restaurant closes before expending the entirety of the grant, the remaining funds must be returned.

Christy Reuter

Christy L. Reuter
Partner | Chair, Hotel & Hospitality
(646) 755-3174 |

Gregg M. Kligman
Counsel | Employment
(646) 273-8209 |