by David Klemt

We Need to Join Forces on the RRF

by David Klemt

The United States Capitol Building with blue sky and white clouds in the background

It’s time for all hospitality professionals to come together and tell Congress to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

Honestly, it’s well beyond time for us to all join forces and send our message to Congress.

Owners, operators, managers, and team members need to contact their representatives. Additionally, they need to encourage their friends and family members to do the same.

If we’re going to stop the damage to our industry, this needs to be done.

State of the RRF

Per this download from the National Restaurant Association, 455,304 eligible restaurants applied for RRF grants.

In total, 278,304 restaurants were awarded grants.

To be fair, that’s excellent news. And the Small Business Administration should be applauded for providing lifelines to nearly 280,000 restaurants.

However, the $28.6 billion the fund was seeded with was never going to be enough. Also, the SBA’s RRF portal was open nowhere near long enough.

Toward the end of May, Republican members of Congress sent a letter to the SBA. In it, they criticize the SBA for closing the portal so quickly.

To provide context, the RRF application portal was open a mere 21 days. Further context: the SBA made it clear before the RRF portal was opened that only priority applications would be processed for the first 21 days.

Replenish the RRF

According to the NRA, 177,000 eligible RRF applicants were not awarded grants.

That number represents a total of $43.6 billion in grants that haven’t been awarded.

So, not only does the SBA need to reopen the RRF, they need to replenish it with at least $43.6 billion. The NRA is asking that Congress refill the RRF with $50 billion.

We all know that the situation is dire. Per the NRA, 1.3 million jobs have been lost. Since the first 14 months of the Covid-19 pandemic, restaurants have lost $290 billion in sales. Obviously, that number has grown. At least 90,000 restaurants have either closed their doors long-term or forever.

However, this isn’t only about our industry. As the NRA shows, every dollar spent on this industry generates $2 for farming, baking, fishing, and other industries.

Looking at the numbers makes it clear: We all need to carve out the few minutes it will take to tell our representatives what we want.

What do we want? For the RRF to be replenished. Click here to tell Congress to replenish the RRF with at least $50 billion, and make sure to spread this message on social by using #ReplishRRF.

There are millions and millions of us in this industry. Now more than ever, we need to join forces and pull in the same direction.

Image: Louis Velazquez on Unsplash