NICC and partners help bar and restaurant owners navigate Restaurant Revitalization Fund
Thursday, May 6, 2021
This first-of-its-kind grant program, which will be administered by the US Small Business Association (SBA), provides debt-free support in the amount of annual revenue lost from 2019 and 2020, with special provisions for businesses that opened in 2020 and 2019.
NORTHEAST IOWA—Starting Friday, April 30, restaurants, bars and other eligible entities that have experienced pandemic-related revenue loss started registering to receive financial assistance from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). Northeast Iowa Community College’s Business Helpline is assisting those business owners with the registration and application process.
The Business Helpline, a public service established in partnership between Northeast Iowa Community College, Greater Dubuque Development Corporation (GDDC), The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the East Central Iowa Intergovernmental Association, will be available to help applicants navigate the process and submit required documentation.
The American Rescue Plan Act established the fund to provide support to restaurants and bars. Food trucks, caterers, bakeries, brewpubs and breweries, wineries, distilleries and other qualifying businesses may apply for funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.
This first-of-its-kind grant program, which will be administered by the US Small Business Association (SBA), provides debt-free support in the amount of annual revenue lost from 2019 and 2020, with special provisions for businesses that opened in 2020 and 2019. The SBA recommends qualifying applicants familiarize themselves with the application process in advance to ensure a smooth and efficient application experience. Businesses should register for an account in advance at restaurants.sba.gov starting at 8 a.m. on Friday, April 30, 2021. Online applications will be accepted beginning on Monday, May 3, 2021.
The RRF support and assistance from the Business Helpline arrives as a critical time for business owners like Darla Stackis, owner of Northside Bar in Dubuque.
“Our biggest struggle through the pandemic has been trying to stay afloat. We closed down twice and that was really rough on us. We are applying for any kind of help that's available, and I don't know what I would have done without the Business Helpline over the past month. I share the information I learn from the helpline with my fellow bar owners. We all just want to stay in business,” Stackis said.
For the first 21 days the program is open, the SBA will prioritize funding applications from businesses owned and controlled by women, veterans and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. All eligible applicants are encouraged to submit applications as soon as the portal opens. Following the 21 days, all eligible applications will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis. The online application will remain open to any eligible establishment until all funds are exhausted.
For more information and to speak to a local representative, contact the Business Helpline at (563) 588-3350 between 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, or email
firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information visit sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/restaurant-revitalization-fund.
This release was prepared by Northeast Iowa Community College using Federal funds under award number 05-79-06051 from the Economic Development Administration (EDA), U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the EDA or the U.S. Department of Commerce.