Federal grant aims to help Washington restaurants hit hard by pandemic

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, signed in March by President Joe Biden, created the $ 28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund to help struggling businesses.

KIRKLAND, Washington – Restaurants, bars and eateries in western Washington can now seek help from the US Small Business Administration.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, signed in March by President Joe Biden, created the $ 28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The money will be provided in the form of grants to restaurants that have suffered financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Those who are qualified and approved for these grants could really see a lot of their debt wiped out. And that’s the good news, ”said Anthony Anton, president and CEO of the Washington Hospitality Association. He said it was important for every restaurant in Washington to apply as soon as possible.

“The bad news is that 80% or more will not qualify. There just isn’t enough money to support all the restaurants, ”said Anton.

Anton believes more bad news could come as early as Tuesday, when Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to announce whether some counties will revert to Phase 2 as part of his “healthy Washington” plan to reopen. King County is one of a number of states slated to return to Phase 2, which caps indoor dining capacity at 25% versus 50% in Phase 3.

“We know the rest of the week will be tough,” said Anton. “For many operators, at 25%, with no possibility of going higher, depending on the company you are, that equates to about as much debt as when you are closed.”

Restaurant owners across Washington have faced changes in the way they can operate their businesses. Anton explained that many are more than frustrated.

“Particularly when you look at New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, other progressive democratic states have announced their opening on May 19. When you look at California and Oregon have actually set opening dates,” said Anton .

He said it was difficult to understand decisions made about restaurants when they felt that was not the problem. “Other states across the country are talking about openness and in Washington we are spending this week talking about hindsight. So we are really an outlier, ”he continued.

Applications for new grants are now being accepted and will be accepted while funds are exhausted.

According to the Small Business Administration, companies that might be eligible for these funds are those that have suffered loss of revenue from a pandemic. They must be one of the following:

  • Restaurants
  • Food stalls, food trucks, food carts
  • Caterers
  • Bars, lounges, lounges, taverns
  • Snack and soft drink bars
  • Bakeries (on-site sales to the public represent at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Breweries, tasting rooms, taprooms (on-site sales to the public represent at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Breweries and / or microbreweries (on-site sales to the public represent at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Cellars and distilleries (on-site sales to the public represent at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Hostels (on-site food and beverage sales to the public account for at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Facilities or licensed premises of a producer of alcoholic beverages where the public can taste, taste or purchase products

The Small Business Administration prioritizes a few specific groups of business owners. Applications from women, veterans and minority business owners will be screened first, along with business owners who are socially or economically disadvantaged.

Learn more about how to apply by clicking here.

“It’s a positive step forward,” said Anton. “Hopefully we can demonstrate the need to Congress to continue funding this development.”


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About Christopher Easley

Christopher Easley

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