Small Business Administration offers emergency funding to help hospitality businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic
Wisconsin restaurants, bars, bakeries, food trucks, breweries, wineries, distilleries and inns that prepare and serve food or beverages can now apply for funding equal to what was lost in the pandemic up to $10 million per business. The federal Small Business Administration’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund recipients do not have to repay the funding as long as it is used for eligible purposes by March 11, 2023.
“As Wisconsin bounces back from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever for us all to support our local, small businesses,” Governor Tony Evers said. “The Restaurant Revitalization Fund gives our restaurants, brewpubs, caterers and more a chance to keep their staff paid and keep the lights on as our economy recovers.”
Applications are now being accepted at https://restaurants.sba.gov. The exact amount businesses will be eligible for varies with awards starting at $1,000 and going all the way up to $10 million per business.
Businesses do not have to repay the funding as long as it’s used for eligible reasons — paying staff, rent or mortgages, utilities, constructing outdoor seating and more – and is spent by March 11, 2023. Applications will remain open until funding runs out.
“During the pandemic, staff at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and our partners at the state Department of Revenue (DOR) worked to distribute more than $240 million in We’re All In grants to Wisconsin’s small businesses,” said Missy Hughes, WEDC secretary and CEO. “While the third phase of We’re All In grants specifically targeted the food, beverage and amusement sector, we know that this part of our economy was one of the hardest hit in the pandemic. That’s why I’m so grateful to see this federal funding available.”
Businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can also expect more help to come from the state. Last month, Gov. Evers announced plans to create the $420 million Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grant program.
Details have not been finalized but the program will once again be run by WEDC and DOR. It is expected to offer grants of $5,000 to businesses with annual gross revenues between $10,000 and $7 million with industries hit hardest by the pandemic being targeted.
“The Department of Revenue has seen what these funds can mean to our state’ small businesses,” said Peter Barca, DOR secretary. “We will do everything we can to make sure dollars get to eligible businesses as quickly as possible. We also want businesses to take advantage of all funding sources available, both federal and state, including the Restaurant Revitalization Fund and the Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grant program and therefore you can always find information on these programs on our website, revenue.wi.gov.”