Baton Rouge, LA (STL.News) Gov. John Bel Edwards encouraged the operators of Louisiana restaurants, bars, catering companies and other food-related establishments to register now for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s new Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The fund allows businesses to offset losses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. SBA launched the Restaurant Revitalization Fund as part of the American Rescue Plan Act that includes $28.6 billion to help restaurants and other eligible businesses remain open.
Registration and applications begin here today. The new federal program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and up to $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding if the money is applied to eligible uses by March 11, 2023.
“Restaurants are vital to Louisiana’s economy, generating more than $10 billion in annual sales across our state,” Gov. Edwards said. “Our restaurants provide an enjoyable place for us to gather with family and friends, and they attract tourists from all over the world to share our state’s superior cuisine. These businesses were hit particularly hard by the pandemic conditions, shifting to takeout and local delivery where possible to stay afloat – and in the process – providing Louisiana residents with a welcome link to normalcy during difficult times. The new Restaurant Revitalization Fund can help business owners in this sector cover their losses and secure their footing as we continue our economic recovery, and I encourage all impacted restaurant owners in Louisiana to apply.”
Employment in Louisiana’s restaurants and bars peaked at 180,000 in 2019. After temporarily losing 80,000 jobs in the first half of 2020, the sector has rebounded to employment of 155,000 as economic conditions continue to improve.
The Restaurant Revitalization Fund is open to 11 categories of businesses, including restaurants, caterers, bars, food trucks and food carts, bakeries, lounges and taverns, snack bars, brewpubs and breweries with onsite public sales, wineries and distilleries, and other related businesses that experienced pandemic-related revenue loss.