BROOKINGS, SD – April 21, 2021 – The Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce, Brookings Economic Development, and Visit Brookings are partnering together to continue to promote the recently created Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). The American Rescue Plan Act, signed on March 11, established a $28.6 billion Fund within the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide tax-free federal grants to eligible businesses in the food and beverage industry that suffered losses during the pandemic. Restaurants are said to be one of the hardest hit industries from the pandemic. The program guide and details on application requirements for the RFF are now available.
The SBA indicated thousands of South Dakota restaurants and bars may be eligible for the RRF which can be used for economic recovery. Visit Brookings Executive Director, Laura Schoen Carbonneau, says restaurants should act right away to take advantage of the program. “Last year, Brookings restaurants took the lead on preventing the spread of COVID-19 by voluntarily closing for a short time. Between these actions and the following occupancy ordinances, it was a very difficult year for them. We encourage all our local area restaurants to look into whether this relief program is right for them, especially now as people are beginning to think about a return to travel.”
A pilot period begins now for the next two weeks to allow the SBA time for outreach and training and to address technical issues prior to going live. Once this pilot period is completed, the application portal will open to the public. Official launch date is still to be announced.
For an initial 21-day period, the SBA will prioritize awarding grants for small business concerns owned and controlled by women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns.