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$28.6 Billion in Relief Will be Available for Restaurants- Here’s What We Know

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) was passed in early March of 2021 and is the third relief package to be passed in response to the on-going pandemic and is the second-largest stimulus bill in United States history. The $1.9 trillion act includes another round of stimulus checks, student loan forgiveness, local government aid, and more. It also includes $28.6 billion in grant money specifically for eligible restaurants as part of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF).

The RRF will be overseen and administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Eligible entities for this program include restaurants, food trucks, bars, brewpubs, and more.

Some additional requirements for applicant eligibility include:

  • They do not own or operate more than 20 units.
  • They are not publicly traded companies.
  • For multi-brand operators, the 20-unit cap applies across brands.


If the applicant is determined to be eligible, they can apply to receive a grant of up to $10 million. The amount of the grant received will not exceed the pandemic-related revenue loss that the applicant experienced. This can be determined by reviewing the applicant’s 2019 gross receipts and subtracting their 2020 gross receipts. Additionally, a modified calculation will be applied to those applicants that were not in operation for all of 2019 or those that opened for business AFTER January 1, 2021.

The funds may be used for:

  • Payroll expenses
  • Utilities
  • Rent
  • Supplies
  • Maintenance
  • Paid sick leave
  • Outdoor seating construction
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Cleaning materials
  • And any other expense that the SBA deems to be essential.


The SBA will be prioritizing grants to eligible applicants that are small businesses owned and women-owned, veterans, and the socially/economically disadvantaged, first. Similarly, $5 billion of the total included for the RRF will be reserved for applicants that have less than $500,000 in gross receipts for 2019.

The SBA has not issued any official rules or additional guidance regarding the application yet. They have clarified that any funds left over after the first 60 days of grant eligibility will be opened to larger restaurants and food-related businesses. However, the details on those procedures and stipulations also remain unclear.

Is there anything Payroll Systems can help you with as you accommodate rapid legislation changes? Reach out and talk to us about the easy-to-scale solutions you need for your business.

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This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business. You can also contact Payroll Systems to inquire about our HR support services.