RRF Grant Update – Lawsuits Reversing Priority For Minority-Owned Restaurants
With the current status of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) dwindling, current and former mayors have urged Congress to reinstate funding. They have highlighted a number of concerns, including Lawsuits reversing the prioritization period for minority-owned operators, the Senate vote to replenish the RRF, and reporting requirements for RRF grant recipients. Read on for more information about these concerns and how you can help your city’s restaurants.
Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) exhausted
The U.S. Senate could soon vote on whether or not to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, the federal grant program for small businesses suffering from the COVID pandemic. The program was created as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, and according to the National Restaurant Association, more than 278,000 restaurants nationwide received $28 billion in grant money through the first tranche of payments. Moreover, the House of Representatives passed a bill to replenish the RRF with $40 billion, a new Hard Hit Industries Award Program, and $13 billion for the Food and Drug Administration’s “Restaurant Reconstruction Safety Fund.”
The RRF grant update was announced at a media conference on Thursday. A number of legislators and restaurant owners attended, and the bill sponsors are planning to introduce a new bill to cover the $40 billion in outstanding RRF applications. The bill has bipartisan support, and it has bipartisan support. The sponsors plan to introduce the bill to the Senate on Thursday. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund replenishment Act of 2021 is supported by the NRA, the Independent Restaurant Coalition, and Republican members of the House.
Fortunately, there are other programs available to assist small businesses, such as the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Disaster Assistance. The American Rescue Plan Act, which passed on March 11, 2021, contains several disaster relief programs and additional funding for the PPP program. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) was established in 2012 by Congress to help businesses suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic. This federal grant program provides up to $28 billion in emergency assistance to restaurants, and it is administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance (ODA).
While Congress has passed the House’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund bill, it has failed to pass the Senate’s bill. It is currently in committee but will face a vote in the Senate. The legislation would inject $42 billion into the RRF while providing additional support to small businesses. The bill would provide additional protections for struggling businesses with less than 200 employees, as well as make changes to the Paycheck Protection Program loan program.
Lawsuits rescinded priority period for minority-owned operators
After the rescinding of the priority period for minority-owned restaurants in an RRF grant update, the SBA is now processing fewer than half of the 72,000 applications that were approved during the original application period. This is bad news for minority-owned restaurants and small businesses, because they often had a tough time accessing government assistance. However, the SBA will continue to process nonpriority applications until the funding is exhausted.
The SBA rescinded the priority application period for a small business in mid-June due to lawsuits filed by white male business owners. While Cohen thought that the program would help level the playing field, he felt that the priority status would hinder his chances for government funds. According to Meyer, the priority period had the opposite effect: it reduced the likelihood of receiving government aid for minority-owned businesses.
The Small Business Administration has halted a similar program because it does not meet their criteria for granting grants. The Independent Restaurant Coalition has filed lawsuits to stop the SBA from implementing the program. The lawsuits argued that the RRF’s priority period for minority-owned businesses was discriminatory. Leon had lost almost 3,000 grants because of the discriminatory funding criteria. The Small Business COVID Relief Act of 2022 failed to pass.
Senate vote on replenishing RRF
The Senate is about to vote on whether to replenish the RRF, which would provide another $48 billion in grants for small businesses. A bill that would create this fund was introduced in the aftermath of the 2008 Pandemic, but it quickly ran out of money. The Small Business COVID Relief Act of 2022 was introduced by a bipartisan group of senators. In August, Sen. Rand Paul objected to $43 billion in emergency funding for the program, and it was eventually killed by a single vote. The Senate’s decision was also made on the same day that the NRA Vice President, Sean Kennedy, issued a statement.
Despite this setback, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund was established to help small businesses during the pandemic. But the funding was depleted before all the restaurants could serve the victims of the apocalypse. The Senate’s failure to approve the funding replenishment bill sent a message to the industry. Many people in the hospitality industry are struggling to survive because of the lack of jobs. In April 2022, 11.6 million people were employed in restaurants, bars, and other food services. However, despite these challenges, there are still a few restaurateurs who hold out hope for the RRF program.
Fortunately, the House passed legislation in April to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The bill included $40 billion for the program and an additional $8 billion for other industries. While both sides agreed that the program should be replenished, the parties could not agree on how to pay for it. While both sides agreed on the need to provide additional funding for the RRF, both parties could not come to an agreement on how to pay for it.
Despite these problems, the lack of funding for the RRF grants is not the only reason for the failure of the bill. As the National Restaurant Association points out, the initial round of RRF funding saved 900,000 jobs. Moreover, the restaurant industry was particularly hard hit by the Omicron-variant. It is therefore imperative to continue the funding for this program. So, if you’re a restaurant owner, consider joining the NRA.
Reporting requirements for RRF recipients
If you receive RRF grant funding, you must report your expenditures and cash transactions in the PMS system every year. The reports will be submitted online. In addition, recipients must report all financial obligations and liquidations. Reporting is not required if you have already spent the grant funds. If you are unable to use all the award funds, you must return them to the Treasury. For the most current reporting requirements, please consult the RRF website.
During the reporting period, you must report all expenses as expenses and subtract any non-RF grant income from your total expense. For the year ending December 31, 2022, you must run a profit & loss report to determine how much money you spent during the year. You should be able to use the entire amount of the RRF grant in a single year, but if you don’t, you must enter the non-RF grant funds as negative numbers in the same Expense Tracker tab.
In addition to expenses, you must report any payments you make to your suppliers that are covered by the RRF. These expenses must be incurred under a valid contract, order, or purchase order in effect before the receipt of the RRF grant. The covered period is generally from the time the grant was received to the end of the grant year. The report also must detail whether you made payroll expenses for employees who earn over $100,000 annually.
In addition to expenses, the SBA will look for documentation of the business’ history. This documentation is important especially for businesses that opened in 2019. It should also include amounts deducted from your 2020 gross receipts. You will need to submit all these documents by December 31, and the deadline is quickly approaching. So, if you are a RRF recipient, don’t delay! Contact the SBA to learn more. It’s easy to get the application process started.
Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) grant funds must be used by December 31, 2021. The report must reflect the expenditures that occurred between February 15, 2020, and December 31, 2021. The RRF program runs until March 11, 2023. You may be eligible for the RRF grant for your business, but remember to report all of the expenditures that occurred during that period. You’ll need to pay back the RRF grant if you don’t use the funds correctly.