Statement by GRA President + CEO Karen Bremer on the Passage of the American Rescue Plan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
POSTED ON MARCH 11, 2021
RESTAURANT REVITALIZATION FUND TO PROVIDE MORE THAN $28.6 BILLION IN AID TO RESTAURANTS
ATLANTA, GA – Today, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law, which included the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). The RRF is a critical tool for the survival and recovery of Georgia’s restaurants which have been hardest hit by COVID-19 impacts. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the national restaurant industry has experienced more than $250 billion in losses, and more than 4,000 restaurants have closed in Georgia. The RRF provides much-needed targeted relief for our industry.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the restaurant industry has been hit harder than any other industry with more than $250 billion in losses and the closing of more than 110,000 restaurants – 4,000 of which are in Georgia,” SAID KAREN BREMER, CAE, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE GEORGIA RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION (GRA). “Our state is known for its southern hospitality and amazing restaurants and we knew this crisis would be the worst we have ever seen. Through persistence with our partners at the National Restaurant Association, we have advocated for targeted relief since March 2020, and the passage of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund brings hope for survival and recovery. We still have a long way to go, but today is a wonderful day for Georgia’s restaurants.”
The RRF will create a new federal program for restaurant owners with 20 or fewer locations. Operators can apply for tax-free grants of up to $5 million per location or up to $10 million for multi-location operations. The grant amount is determined by subtracting 2020 sales from 2019 revenues.
Funds from the grants can be spent on a wider range of expenses than previous relief programs, including mortgages or rent, utilities, supplies, food and beverage inventory, payroll, and operational expenses. There will be $5 billion of the fund set aside for restaurants with gross receipts under $500,000 and, for the first three weeks of the application period, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will prioritize awarding grants for women-, veteran-, or socially and economically disadvantaged-owned businesses.
For an overview of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, click here.
For more information on the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA), visit our website.