There’s been a lot of online rumors and speculation that Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) grants are about to be released. I wanted to send a quick update on what we know, and more importantly, what we’re waiting to hear from the SBA.


What We’re Doing: With our encouragement and support, the original sponsors of the RESTAURANTS Act wrote a letter to the SBA urging that all unspent RRF dollars be released to operators as soon as possible. We amplified the letter on social media and with reporters, generating coverage in PoliticoRestaurant Hospitality, and The Business Journals. Our quote was to the point: “Restaurants are in disbelief that two years after the RRF was officially closed, the program still has roughly $180 million in untapped funds.  Washington did the right thing creating the RRF, and now needs to follow through by ensuring that every relief dollar makes it to struggling restaurant owners.  There’s more work to be done, and we appreciate the work from Sens. Sinema and Wicker, as well as Reps. Blumenauer and Fitzpatrick.”


What We Know:  The SBA has confirmed that a portion of the original $28.6 billion program funding is now available. The amount, thought to be roughly $180 million, includes earlier awards that were returned to the SBA, as well as money that had previously been set aside for litigation. The SBA has advised us that the funds will be released in the order in which applications were received and will not reflect any “priority status” designations. 


What We Don’t Know: We are still waiting for guidance on timing. We have heard reports that the SBA will release the funds imminently, but the SBA says that’s not accurate. We also do not know what the final amount will be. 


What You Can Do: You will hear from us or your State Restaurant Association (SRA) as soon as there is news from the SBA. Restaurant operators can reach out to their SBA district offices to inquire about when and how the SBA plans to release the remaining RRF awards: SBA District Offices.


This small amount of additional grant money is obviously not nearly enough to fund all the applications left in the cue, but we know for many it will make a huge difference. We’ll continue to engage with the SBA on these funds to ensure that every possible dollar is used as Congress intended.


Thank you again for your engagement. Tomorrow’s elections around the country will bring about a number of opportunities – and challenges – for the restaurant industry. We and our SRA partners are ready to make the push on your behalf at the federal, state, and local level. You’ll be hearing more about our plans on that front very soon.



Sean Kennedy 

Executive Vice President of Public Affairs

National Restaurant Association


PS – We have a survey in the field on the state of the restaurant industry, and your input will help identify where restaurants are going as we move into 2023. Hope you can take a few minutes and take the survey.