Update: Federal Grants

by Mason Doerr


Yesterday, the MLBA sat on a restaurant roundtable put on by the Independent Restaurant Coalition. The topic of the roundtable was the $28.6 billion in federal grants from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund that will soon be available for bar and restaurant owners. According to experts, you may be able to apply for these loans as soon as April. 
Keep in mind, these will come directly from a Small Business Administration (SBA) fund. They are not loans and you will not have to pay them back. The primary intention of the grants is to help you make up for revenue lost during the pandemic. Unlike PPP, we learned that these loans will not be run through your local bank. They will run through the federal SBA. Of the $28.6 billion, $5 billion will be set aside specifically for businesses that made less than $500,000 in revenue in 2019. The other $23.6 billion will be open and available to everyone. 

Who is eligible? 

All food service/drinking establishments. This includes bars, restaurants, caterers, food trucks, taprooms, etc. 

Who is not eligible? 

Conglomerates with more than 20 locations, publicly traded groups or businesses that have a pending application for the federal "Save our Stages" venue program. 

How much can you expect to get? 

  • The maximum an individual establishment can receive is $5 million. 
  • The maximum a bar/restaurant group can receive is $10 million.
  • For establishments open before 2019: subtract your 2020 gross revenue from your 2019 gross revenue. Then subtract the amount you've received from PPP from that number and you'll get your estimated max grant amount. At this time, we do not believe federal EIDL loans will count against you. 
  • For establishments that opened in 2019: Take your average monthly revenue in 2019, multiply it by 12, subtract your 2020 gross revenue and PPP and that's your estimated max grant amount. 
  • For establishments that opened in 2020: Take your eligible expenses from 2020 and subtract your revenue from 2020 and that will be your maximum grant amount. Most establishments that opened in 2020 did not receive PPP, but if you did, that will need to be subtracted as well. 

What can the money be used for?

  • Payroll, benefits, establishment mortgages, rent, utilities, maintenance (including COVID construction like outdoor patios, etc.), supplies, food & beverage, etc. 
  • Keep in mind that you cannot pay any individual more than $100,000 from the grant money. 

Will grant dollars received be taxed?

You will not pay federal taxes on it. State taxes will be dependent on what the state decides to do. 

Is there a covered period for the grants? 

Like PPP, there is a covered period. Currently, that period is set between Feb 15, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2021. SBA has the ability to extend this if necessary.

What will you need to apply? 

  • 2019 tax returns. 
  • PPP/forgiveness documents.
  • 2020 tax returns (if available).


We'll have more information about where and when to apply soon.