Gov. John Bel Edwards recently encouraged the operators of Louisiana restaurants, bars, catering companies and other food-related establishments to register for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s new Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
The fund allows businesses to offset losses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. SBA launched the Restaurant Revitalization Fund as part of the American Rescue Plan Act that includes $28.6 billion to help restaurants and other eligible businesses remain open.
Registration and applications began last week. The new federal program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and up to $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding if the money is applied to eligible uses by March 11, 2023.
Employment in Louisiana’s restaurants and bars peaked at 180,000 in 2019. After losing 80,000 jobs in the first half of 2020, the sector has rebounded to employment of 155,000.