City Launches Effort to Help San Francisco Restaurants Apply for Federal Relief
Applications for the federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund open today, May 3, thanks to funding from the American Rescue Plan. Assistance is available to San Francisco restaurants who need help applying
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced the City of San Francisco is partnering with the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) and several community-based organizations to assist San Francisco restaurants and other eligible businesses who need help applying for the new, federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, which Speaker Nancy Pelosi championed in Congress, and will provide grants to help restaurants, bars, and other eating and drinking businesses stay open.
Applications for the Fund opened today, May 3, 2021 at restaurants.sba.gov. This $28.6 billion program, administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA), will provide eligible businesses with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss in 2020. Eligible businesses for the Fund include restaurants, food trucks, caterers, bars, lounges, bakeries, breweries, wineries, distilleries and other qualifying food service businesses. Every applicant is eligible to apply during the first 21 days, but in that time the SBA will only process and fund applicants from priority groups, which are small business owned by women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. All eligible businesses are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
“We’re doing everything we can to help small businesses in San Francisco – from providing local relief to helping businesses access state and federal dollars. We know that there is still a lot of need out there, and we are grateful for the Biden Administration and Speaker Pelosi’s leadership in securing these additional federal funds,” said Mayor Breed. “San Francisco is lucky to have an amazing, diverse food scene, and we need our local restaurants to make it through this challenging time. Every bit of financial support businesses can get will help them stay open and recover, so we want to encourage all eligible restaurants to apply for this fund.”
“In San Francisco, our restaurants are at the heart of our community life. Thanks to President Biden and Democrats in Congress, the American Rescue Plan has delivered a new lifeline for our local restaurants in the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, especially those that are women-owned, minority-owned and veteran-owned,” said Speaker Pelosi. “Mayor Breed has worked tirelessly to help San Francisco restaurants and small businesses access vital federal relief funding so that they can survive this crisis, and I look forward to working closely with her to build back our vibrant city stronger than ever.”
The Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) is partnering with MEDA and local community-based organizations to provide technical assistance and outreach to San Francisco restaurants and other eligible businesses, with a focus on reaching businesses that are in SBA’s priority groups. San Francisco community based organizations are providing multi-lingual support and conducting outreach about the Fund in communities of color. Specifically, the City is working with MEDA, Northeast Community Federal Credit Union (NECFCU), Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center Bayview, and the SF Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
San Francisco business owners who need assistance applying for the Fund should go to:
- Mission Economic Development Agency
- Northeast Community Federal Credit Union (Chinese)
- Website: necfcu.weebly.com/
- Phone Number: 415-434-0738
- Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center Bayview
- Website: rencenter.org/event/rrf-program-info-session/
- Phone Number: 415-348-6223
- SF Small Business Development Center (Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese)
A comprehensive list of business resources, including additional partners assisting with applications for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, is available online at oewd.org/covid19.
“The Restaurant Revitalization Fund is a lifeline for our struggling businesses that have been severally impacted by the loss of revenue since the very start of this pandemic more than a year ago. As San Francisco and the nation begins to reopen and recover, we want to make sure our businesses; especially our minority and women owned businesses have a head start in applying for these funds,” said Anne Taupier, Acting Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “We are grateful to have dedicated community partners eagerly stepping up to serve the thousands of small businesses that need technical support to field questions and navigate this relief program and application process.”
Funding amounts may be up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses by March 11, 2023. Additional information about the Fund, including eligibility requirements, is available here.
“The Restaurant Revitalization Fund is one of the most significant lifelines available to our city’s struggling restaurants, cafes, and bars,” said Luis Granados, CEO of the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA). “This partnership between the Mayor’s Office, MEDA, Northeast Federal Credit Union, Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, and the Small Business Development Center is a vital effort to ensure our Latino, Black, and AAPI business communities get their hands-on support they need to access these funds. Working together, we can help make our food establishments whole and put our city’s residents back to work.”
“We are so thankful to the Small Business Administration for the launch of the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Grant fund!” said Laurie Thomas, Executive Director, Golden Gate Restaurant Association. “So many of our San Francisco independent restaurants are still in desperate need of cash to help fund their operations and bring back their workers. We encourage every food serving business who can to apply as soon as possible and we’ll amplify this information to help our members as well. We are grateful to OEWD and to our community partners for their continued commitment and work to assist businesses in going through this stressful application process.”
This is part of San Francisco’s efforts to support small businesses, which have been decimated by this pandemic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the City of San Francisco has provided immediate and ongoing support for small businesses, including directing more than $50 million in grants and loans to more than 3,500 small businesses, tens of millions of dollars in fee and tax deferrals, and assistance applying for state and federal funding. This includes legislation introduced and signed by Mayor Breed to waive $5 million in fees and taxes for entertainment and nightlife venues and small restaurants, meaning that businesses that receive a waiver do not have to pay back the fees at a later date.
In addition to creating and supporting programs that respond to the urgent and ongoing needs of COVID-19, Mayor Breed has continued to invest in programs that regularly support small businesses in San Francisco, including the Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative and Grants for the Arts. Lastly, the City has advanced numerous initiatives to make it easier to operate and open businesses during COVID-19 and beyond, such as the Shared Spaces program and the Small Business Recovery Act legislation, which is currently before the Board of Supervisors.
More information about San Francisco’s support for small businesses is available here.