Northeast Florida restaurants & foodservice businesses collect $79 million in COVID-19 relief

Businesses receive grants from the American Rescue Plan’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund

Restaurant (Pexels)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Nearly 500 restaurants and other food-service businesses in Northeast Florida have received grants from the federal government, aimed at helping them stay in business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, to provide money equal to the revenue businesses lost from the pandemic, up to $10 million each. Businesses are not required to repay the money if it’s used for eligible uses by March 11, 2023. More than $28 billion has been awarded nationwide.

Businesses applied for the grants through the Small Business Association, providing documentation on their revenues and expenses. Money could be used for costs including payroll, mortgage or rent payments, utilities, maintenance, supplies, and construction of outdoor seating. Applications for the grants have since closed.

In a statement this week, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (R-Tallahassee) highlighted the businesses receiving aid in his district, which stretches from Jacksonville to Gadsden County. Across that region, 44 restaurants received grants totaling $8,301,133.

Data made available by the Small Business Association provides details on all of the restaurants and similar businesses in Northeast Florida that got money from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. A total of 473 businesses received a total of $79,350,160. While 52 of the businesses were franchises, the vast majority were not. Grants ranged from more than $4 million to a little more than $1,000.