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Biden estimated that the current round of $28.6 billion will be able to help about 100,000 businesses

The first round of Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants is about to be distributed

The SBA is awarding $2 billion to 16,000 restaurants and the funding could appear in bank accounts as early as May 11

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced Monday that it has begun approving and distributing grants to the first wave of Restaurant Revitalization Fund applicants. Just one week after the program's launch, the SBA has approved approximately $2 billion worth of grants to 16,000 restaurants, and operators will begin seeing the funding in their bank accounts as early as May 11.

“We know that this help is urgently needed by so many who have suffered disproportionately from this pandemic and have often been unable to access relief,” SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said in a statement. “Restaurants are the core of our neighborhoods and propel economic activity on Main Streets across the nation. The SBA is here to help them build resilience to survive this pandemic as we get our economy back on track.”

Within the first two days that the grant application opened for restaurants, bars and select other foodservice businesses, 186,000 businesses from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. had already applied.

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden said, “that’s a staggering number” of restaurant applicants that were already interested in receiving a federal grant and estimated that the current round of $28.6 billion will be able to help about 100,000 businesses. This number, the SBA noted, is not enough to meet demand.

Read more about the SBA awarding $2 billion to 16,000 restaurants in the first wave of Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants in Restaurant Hospitality.

Contact Joanna at joanna.fantozzi@informa.com

Find her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi

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