There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic shutdown has taken a toll on businesses everywhere. Restaurants were hit particularly hard, due to the nature of the industry, rife with contamination risks. Although there were valiant efforts, via curbside ordering, to keep many local restaurants alive and well, even adaptations such as these didn’t leave most restaurants unscathed.
In response to this economic hardship experienced by the restaurant industry, the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA), in accordance with the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, created the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. This is a $28.6 billion grant program to keep restaurants afloat and to recover from the financial hardship of the past year.
However, the SBA has now stopped accepting applications for direct aid to restaurants from the RRF because the aid program has run out of its $28.6 billion in federal funding.
With so many businesses in the restaurant industry scrambling to keep afloat, a question on everyone’s minds seems to be: What do we do now that these funds have been depleted?
In this article, we will discuss the details of the Restaurant Revitalization Program (RRP) and other means beyond this government assistance with which you can boost your restaurant’s revenue while recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects.
The Restaurant Revitalization Program
At the beginning of the pandemic shutdown, we witnessed the government quickly try to assess and piece together plans to relieve small business owners. One of these measures was the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This aid was in the form of a government loan, rather than a grant, and could be used by business owners to pay their employee paychecks, business rent, interest, and utilities.
Unlike the PPP, the RRP has fewer restrictions regarding who can benefit from the relief, and the funds never have to be paid back. The program also created measures to provide aid to economically and socially disadvantaged populations first; during the first 21 days of processing, these groups, including women and veterans, received priority review and aid.
Restaurant Revitalization Program Funds
The funds that businesses received from the RRP were equivalent to their pandemic-related revenue loss, and these funds will be available for use until March 2023. The following are permissible uses for RRP funds:
- Rent and utilities
- Mortgage obligations
- Outdoor dining builds
- Operational expenses
- Paid sick leave
The RRP is Now Depleted: What Next?
Although there is talk of the RRP being replenished now that the initial funds have been depleted, we do know that there are currently more restaurants desperately in need of aid. So, what should these restaurants do now that no more government aid is available? We suggest applying for a business cash advance through a trustworthy provider, such as Quikstone Capital Solutions.
Do you have merchants who did not apply in time or have not received confirmation of funding from the SBA? Quikstone can help them with fast funding for all their business needs: hiring more staff (which is critical right now), purchasing inventory, creating outdoor seating, or buying your equipment.
Card Market is Here to Boost Sales
A great idea to boost sales as you reopen for business? A gift card campaign! As excited as you are to get your restaurant up and running full-time again, trust us, your customers are likely even more thrilled. Customers have been looking forward to rejoining loved ones at their favorite eateries for quite some time, so now is the perfect time to run gift card discounts for loyal customers! Welcome your customer base back with open arms, all while boosting your revenue.
Card Market designs, prints, encodes, wraps, and ships quality gift cards, all under one roof. If you’re interested in learning more, we’re here for you! Contact us today to schedule a consultation.