Sam's Spotlight

The pandemic this past year has been challenging for so many, and in so many ways. This week I want to spotlight and provide hope to those who have suffered tremendous stress and difficulty this past year: the restaurants and food industry. 

If you have not yet heard of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), the program details are as follows: The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding if funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023. Eligible entities who have experienced pandemic-related revenue loss include restaurants; food stands, food trucks, food carts; caterers; bars, saloons, lounges, taverns; snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars; bakeries; brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms; breweries and/or microbreweries; wineries and distilleries; inns; licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products. (Source:

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund launched on Monday, May 3rd, and according to the SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration), initial results are in with some astounding statistics! In the first 36 hours, 186,200 businesses applied for funding. More than 50% are women-owned, veteran-owned, or disadvantaged businesses. 61,700 applications came from businesses with under 500,000 in annual revenue. 

I tell you this because I want to make sure everyone in our community, especially our local restaurants/eligible businesses that we all love and enjoy, know that this is available. Research this, get informed, and apply now if you are eligible! I encourage you to visit and sign up to receive email alerts regarding the RRF. You can apply directly on the SBA website and find all pertinent information regarding RRF. You can also reach out to any of our awesome local banks in Franklin Parish; I know they would be more than willing to help you - whether it be providing information, gathering documents, or offering guidance on how to apply.  

For our community to be awesome, we need our local restaurants and businesses in the food industry to succeed. They need our support as we recover from this pandemic! You can help by educating yourself first about the RRF, then make sure any of your peers in the food industry or qualifying groups know about the RRF and encourage them to apply if they have not. Lastly, make sure you are following Franklin Parish Economic Development on Facebook and Instagram (@franklinparish.econdev) for more updates on this topic and more.

See you next week for Sam’s Spotlight! 

Sam Sheppard

Franklin Parish Economic Development Coordinator


Follow us on Instagram and Facebook! @franklinparish.econdev

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