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Report: 850 Iowa restaurants receive federal pandemic relief


The U.S. Small Business Administration on Friday announced the closure of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund program, which provided $28.6 billion in emergency pandemic relief funding to more than 100,000 restaurants nationwide.

In Iowa, 850 restaurants and other food and drink establishments received funding totaling $122,089,854. More than 2,600 establishments in Iowa had applied for nearly $
367 million in funding through the program, according to a June 30 report from the agency.

“Restaurants are at the center of our neighborhoods and propel economic activity on Main Streets,” SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman said in a press release. “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.”

Among the grant recipients, underserved populations received approximately $18 billion. including $7.5 billion to women-owned businesses and $1 billion to veteran-owned businesses.

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 average size of the grant awards was $283,000.

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.

With the closure of the RRF, the SBA will continue to offer economic aid to help small businesses recover with critical relief through programs such as the Economic Injury Disaster Loans [EIDL], Targeted EIDL Advance and Supplemental Targeted Advance and the Community Navigator Program. For additional information on SBA’s economic relief programs, visit COVID-19 relief options on the SBA website.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to correct the number of approved grants. The numbers originally stated in the story were actually the numbers of grants that had been applied for, not received. 

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