The Chronicles Of Grant County

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The Restaurant Revitalization Fund Program is operated by the
Small Business Administration.

As part of the efforts to stabilize and enhance the economy of the United States, the Federal government implemented several programs to help businesses continue their operations. One of those programs, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) Program, was created by the U S Congress to help provide funding for food-related businesses that had been affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

While “restaurant” is in the name of the program, a variety of food-related entities were eligible for this program, including bakeries, bars, certain types of breweries and wineries, caterers, and inns, among other businesses.

The RRF Program provided funding to six businesses in Grant County. This, according to records of the U S Small Business Administration (SBA). During the next three days, we will detail two of the businesses in Silver City that received assistance through this program. We will also provide basic information on four other businesses in Silver City that received funds through this program, but that have chosen not to respond to questions about how the funds were used or will be used.

Please note that there is no obligation of recipients of grants from the RRF Program to answer questions from the news media, including The Grant County Beat. Some information, though, is available through the SBA database of recipients of funds from this Federal program.

“The $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund provided desperately needed relief to more than 100,000 restaurants and other food and beverage businesses across the nation with significant funding going to our hardest-hit, underserved businesses,” said SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman in a news release dated July 2, 2021, from the SBA. “Restaurants are at the center of our neighborhoods and propel economic activity on Main Streets. As among the first to close in this pandemic and likely the last to reopen, many are still struggling to survive. The SBA will continue to work hard to ensure they get the resources they need to recover, rebuild and be resilient.”

The actual statistics as of June 30, 2021, indicate that 101,004 food-related businesses received grants in the amount of $28,574,979,472.

The program was designed to provide funding to businesses that was equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location.

Businesses that received RRF Program grants are not required to repay the funding as long as monies are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023. Among those eligible expenses are ones for beverage and food products, debt service, maintenance, mortgage, payroll, rent, supplies, utilities, and other business-related operating costs.

According to the SBA news release, “As of June 30, 2021, the RRF Program received more than 278,000 submitted eligible applications representing over $72.2 billion in requested funds, and approximately 101,000 applicants have been approved to restaurants, bars and other restaurant-type businesses.” The news release noted that “underserved populations received approximately $18 billion in grant awards…” Among those considered “underserved populations include business owners that are female, military veterans, and individuals that are socially and economically disadvantaged according to definitions of the SBA.

While governmental news reports indicated that many small businesses were helped through the RRF Program, statistics provided by the SBA, as of June 30, 2021, indicated that comparatively few of the dollars were used for grants to very small businesses. Substantial billions of dollars, though, were granted to larger businesses.

A total of 2.2% of all tax dollars provided to businesses through the RRF Program were through grants of $50,000 or less. The actual amount provided in these grants was $625,364,660.

A total of 39% of all tax dollars provided to businesses through the RRF Program were used for grants of $1 million or more. The actual amount provided in the grants of $1 million or more amounted to $11,139,621,341.

The SBA reported that the average size of grant awards to applicants was $283,000.

As of June 30, 2021, the SBA reported that 1,529 food-related businesses in New Mexico applied for funding for RRF Program. The funding requests totaled $356,389,291. A total of 601 of those grant requests were approved. The overall funding granted in New Mexico was $169,250,543.

In Grant County, RRF Program grants to local businesses ranged from $5,917 to $440,055. Details will follow in news columns during the next few days.

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The Small Business Administration operates a number of programs aimed at helping businesses continue their operations through the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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© 2021 Richard McDonough

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