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SBA grants $69.2M in aid to 339 bars, restaurants in Puerto Rico

The U.S. Small Business Administration recently announced the end of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) program, which awarded $69.2 million in payments to 339 bars and restaurants in Puerto Rico, the agency confirmed.

There was a total of 2,396 applications from Puerto Rico establishments, which requested a little more than $419 million in funding.

Over in the US Virgin Islands, the agency made 28 program payments totaling $5.9 million. There were 151 applications submitted, requesting a little more than $32.8 million in funding, the agency confirmed.

In total, more than 101,000 restaurants were awarded $28.6 billion through the program, with the average award totaling $283,000. This total does not reflect applications fully cancelled by applicants, SBA officials confirmed in a report.

As of June 30, 2021, the RRF program received more than 278,000 submitted eligible applications representing more than $72.2 billion in requested funds, and approximately 101,000 applicants have been approved to restaurants, bars and other restaurant-type businesses. Underserved populations received approximately $18 billion in grant awards including: Women-owned businesses, $7.5 billion; veteran-owned businesses, $1 billion; social and economically disadvantaged-owned businesses, $6.7 billion; and businesses owned by representatives of multiple underserved populations, $2.8 billion.

The remainder of the $28.6 billion was awarded to eligible applicants not identified as part of an underserved group.

The program provided economic aid to restaurants and other establishments struggling to make ends meet because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As outlined by Congress, restaurants and bars were eligible for economic aid equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss, with a cap of $10 million per business and $5 million per location. The funds were available for certain eligible uses, like payroll and rent.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund application platform will remain open for the next two weeks to allow applicants to check their status, address payment corrections, or ask questions. The SBA will disable access to the platform on July 14, 2021.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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