BROOKINGS, SD – April 6, 2021 The Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce and Brookings Economic Development are partnering together 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.

Kelsey Doom, President & CEO of the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce stated, “Our bars, restaurants and caterers were among the first impacted by the pandemic. Looking back a year, we remember many of our downtown bars closing even before City mandates required it. Unfortunately, they will likely be the last to return to normalcy. We are pleased to see this opportunity for our members working in this incredibly fragile industry.

The following types of establishments are eligible for funding:

  • Food trucks, carts, and stands;
  • Full- and limited-service restaurants;
  • Caterers; and
  • Saloons and taverns, and more.

Entities not eligible for grants include:

  • Businesses operated by state or local governments as of March 13, 2020.
  • Businesses owned or operated together with any affiliated entities.
  • Businesses with more than 20 locations regardless of whether the entities share a common name, have a pending application for or have received a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, or are publicly traded on a national securities exchange.

Pandemic-related revenue loss is calculated by subtracting its 2020 gross receipts from its 2019 gross receipts. Alternative calculations are available for businesses not in operation for all of 2019, or newly opened in 2020. Eligible grant amounts would be reduced dollar for dollar by any amounts received from Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), first and second draw, regardless of forgiveness status.

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.

“From an economic development standpoint this grant opportunity has the potential to be a game changer for our local eateries and eligible businesses here in Brookings” says Andrew Sloss, CEO of Brookings EDC.  He also stated, “BEDC continues to advocate for and support all establishments who are interested in pursuing this grant opportunity.”

Funds must be spent on payroll; principal or interest on mortgage obligations (excluding prepayment); rent (excluding prepayment); utilities; maintenance including construction to accommodate outdoor seating; supplies such as protective equipment and cleaning materials; normal food and beverage inventory; certain covered supplier costs; operational expenses; paid sick leave; and any other expenses that the SBA determines to be essential to maintaining operations.

Grants can be spent on eligible expenses through December 31, 2021; this date may be extended by up to two years if conditions warrant.

Sign up to receive upcoming important program updates, including how to apply, at https://restaurantsact.com/rrf or contact, Nick Fickbohm, SBDC Counselor at nickf@sdei.org.

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