The National Restaurant Association has asked the Small Business Administration to make $180 million in unobligated Restaurant Revitalization Funds (RRF) available to applicants who did not previously receive funding.
The unused funds were identified by the Government Accountability Office in June. About $24 million was set aside for litigation and another $56 million came from returned awards. The rest is the result of realized or anticipated recoveries.
“Now more than ever, every dollar appropriated by Congress for restaurant relief needs to be unlocked and put in the hands of operators struggling to keep their doors open,” said Sean Kennedy, executive vice president for public affairs at the National Restaurant Association. “The potential for replenishing the RRF remains uncertain at best, thus the efficient disbursement of the existing funds is of critical importance to our industry. Restaurants remain battered with worker shortages, runaway food costs, and an uncertain level of customer confidence in the coming months. The need for relief has not abated. We urge the SBA to take every step to disburse all remaining funds in a fair and timely manner.”
The release of the funds would provide some further relief to restaurant operators, who had hoped for a fuller replenishment of the RRF until a bill for $40 billion in additional funding died in the Senate in May.