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Group offers help to restaurants in Southwest Colorado applying for federal aid

$28.6 billion set aside to assist eateries hurt in pandemic
The Southwest Colorado Small Business Development Center is offering help to restaurants and other eligible businesses interested in applying for grants under the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, a $28.6 billion pool of money set aside to help eateries economically hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Southwest Colorado Small Business Development Center is offering assistance to restaurant owners seeking to apply to a new federal program that will provide grants from $1,000 to $10 million to help eateries hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Final rules establishing grants for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which will be administered out of the U.S. Small Business Administration, are expected later this month.

However, Southwest Colorado SBDC Executive Director Mary Shepherd said anyone interested in applying for the program can contact her office at 903-5424 to learn more about the program and receive help with the application process.

“Information is still emerging. We are keeping track of it, and the best place to keep updated is our website, on the COVID-19 tab,” Shepherd said. “But we would love to work with any business that would like to apply for this funding and needs assistance in getting any of their applications submitted to SBA.”

The local SBDC will follow SBA releases of information concerning rules for the program, but it’s not too early to begin getting some paperwork ready to apply, Shepherd said.

The National Restaurant Association anticipates restaurants will have to show profit-and-loss statements for 2020 and 2021.

In addition, other documents businesses will likely need to show, include:

Business tax returns, Internal Revenue Service Form 1120 or 1120-S.IRS Form 1040 Schedule C, IRS Form 1040 Schedule F.IRS Form 1065 for partnerships.IRS Form 1099-K and point of sale reports.Bank statements.The Restaurant Revitalization Fund was allocated $28.6 billion for grants to restaurants economically hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic in the American Rescue Plan Act signed by President Joe Biden on March 11.

Of the $28.6 billion, $5 billion has been set aside for the smallest applicants – those restaurants with $500,000 or less in gross receipts for 2019.

In addition, during the first 21 days of the program, the SBA will prioritize applicants from restaurants owned by women, veterans and socially and economically disadvantaged people.

Besides restaurants, owners of inns, breweries, brewpubs, microbreweries, tap rooms, tasting rooms, bakeries, wineries and distilleries can apply for the grants if 33% of gross receipts are from on-site sales to the public.

Restaurants and other eligible applicants can apply for Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants even if they have received Paycheck Protection Program grants or SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans, but the money received from PPPs and EIDLs will lower their amount awarded in the RRF grant.

Expenses Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants can go to include: payroll, mortgage payments, rents, utilities, construction and maintenance required to accommodate the COVID-19 pandemic, and paid sick leave.

The grants do not have to be paid back if used on eligible expenses.

“Businesses are welcome to call, and we can share what we know now,” Shepherd said. “We have a sense of what will be required and needed based on other SBA programs. There’s some forms that are pretty standard for SBA programs. So we would be happy to help with inquiries and questions.”

parmijo@durangoherald.com

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