Restaurant Revitalization Fund applications due May 24; 9 Fairfax County eateries get DoorDash grants

Restaurant and drinking-establishment owners have until next Monday, May 24, to submit applications to the Small Business Administration’s massive Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF).

Created as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the $28.6 billion RRF included an initial set-aside established by Congress for applicants with gross receipts not more than $500,000. Two additional funding allocations were set up to ensure the smallest of restaurants and other eating establishments have equitable access: applicants with 2019 gross receipts not more than $50,000, and applicants with 2019 gross receipts between $500,000 and $1,500,000.

Eligible entities 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

To date, the RRF program has received more than 303,000 applications, and nearly 38,000 applicants have been approved for more than $6 billion, according to the SBA. Of the overall submitted applications, 57 percent came from women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged business owners.

According to a Small Business Administration release, the agency has conducted more than 600 targeted community events in multiple languages to raise awareness of the program.

Designed to ensure the smallest of small eating establishments get the relief needed, set-asides continue a commitment to an equitable distribution of funds to hard-hit communities, according to the SBA. Because SBA still has potential set-aside funding available for eligible establishments with 2019 annual revenue of not more than $50,000, it will keep the application portal open until 8 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, May 24.

“The Restaurant Revitalization Fund is an important program offering emergency assistance for eligible restaurants impacted by COVID-19,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. “Restaurants are vital components of any local economy and they are unique elements of the culture of a community, and for both of those reasons I want to encourage as many restaurateurs as possible to take advantage of this unprecedented initiative that the federal government has made available for this critical industry.”

Nine Fairfax County restaurants receive DoorDash grants

Nine Fairfax County restaurants received 2021 DoorDash Restaurant Operator Relief Grants, according to the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association. Twenty additional restaurants located in other jurisdictions in Northern Virginia, and 128 statewide, received grants.

These restaurants, along with the thousands of other businesses in Fairfax County have been hard hit by the pandemic shutdown. Here are the DoorDash grant recipients from Fairfax County:

Each business received $3,500, which they will use to pay down debt, purchase new equipment, fund salaries and enhance their marketing efforts. All but Mazadar also participated in the Fairfax RISE grant program that the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors created last year.

“Due to social distancing and business and office closures, we a lost big chunk of our business, especially our lunch-time business,” said Quaiser Aziz of Spice Town in Herndon.

Grant criteria included businesses with no more than three locations with 50 or fewer employees and annual gross revenue of $3 million or less for the location applied for, with a brick-and-mortar location, that experienced a reduction in revenue, financial stress, or disrupted operations from March 2020 through December 2020. More than 690 restaurants in Virginia applied for the grant.

“DC Steakholders is not only a restaurant, but for many people, it has been a sanctuary, a second home, a community meeting place, and a family,” said DC Steakholders owner Gurpreet Kaur. “We are determined to stick around so that me and my team can continue learning and serving our community.”

Tysons Corner Center hosting ‘DreamStart Competition’

Tysons Corner Center is sponsoring a “DreamStart Competition” for prospective business owners to launch a brand at the mall. Submit a business plan by June 5 to the DreamStart competition for the chance to win three months of free rent plus additional support for the new venture.

Winners will be selected based on the business plan, according to Tysons Corner Center’s owner Macerich. The judging criteria will include how the submitted business plan:

  • represents the needs of services, vendors, or gaps in the market at the Tysons Corner Center
  • showcases an entrants strong social media presence
  • showcases a strong and responsible brand voice
  • showcases ingenuity or innovation
  • presents a quality product or service
  • presents a realistic or feasible financial possibility of a long term tenant

Click here for more information.

Need help with a business plan? The FCEDA provides business-counseling services through an arrangement with SCORE, a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration. SCORE is a nationwide, non-profit volunteer association with over 12,000 retired and active business owners and executives. SCORE provides one-on-one virtual counseling and mentoring, low-cost business-related workshops and free house calls to your business location to conduct business reviews. Click here for more information.

May 20, 2021