The devoted team at the Independent Restaurant Coalition continues to provide key information and updates about legislation which impacts (and supports!) the hospitality industry's survival. Below we've shared excerpts from the organization's website about the recent news and relief grants that will soon be available.

For more information, visit


What You Need to Know About the American Rescue Plan:

  • On March 11th, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, which includes a $28.6 billion grant program for the hospitality industry.

  • This $28.6 billion grant program for independent restaurants and bars in the American Rescue Plan is based on the RESTAURANTS Act, which was first proposed by thousands of IRC supporters in an April 2020 letter to Congress.

  • The American Rescue Plan will ensure America’s independent restaurants, bars, caterers, taprooms, food trucks, and others hit hardest by the pandemic can get the grants they need to survive.

What You Need to Know About the Neighborhood Restaurant and Bar Grant Program:

  • This first-of-its kind grant program provides debt-free support in the amount of annual revenue lost from 2019 and 2020, with special provisions for businesses that opened in 2020 and 2019. 

  • These grants can only be used on eligible expenses that were incurred starting on February 15, 2020 and ending at the end of 2021. Any unused funds – or funds not used for these purposes – will be returned to the government.

  • These grants may be used for the following expenses:

    • Payroll (excluding employee compensation exceeding $100K/year)
    • Employee benefits
    • Paid sick leave
    • Mortgage / Rent
    • Utilities
    • Maintenance
    • Outdoor seating construction
    • Supplies, protective equipment, and cleaning materials
    • Food and beverage
    • Operational expenses
    • Debt obligations to suppliers

  • This program caters to the most vulnerable businesses. Grants are meant to offset 2020 losses, up to $5 million per restaurant or $10 million per restaurant group. Grants can be spent on eligible expenses incurred from 2/15/20 through 12/31/21 and the Administrator may extend the period through two years from enactment if conditions warrant.

  • Here's how you can start calculating the grant amount you may be eligible for:  

    • If you are an established restaurant - subtract 2020 revenue from 2019 revenue. If you took PPP, you also subtract the total amount you received from PPP1 & PPP2. 
    • If you opened in 2019 - Take the average of 2019 monthly revenues times 12 minus 2020 revenues (and total PPP received)
    • If you opened in 2020 - you are eligible to receive funding equal to eligible expenses incurred

  • Grants will be administered through the Small Business Administration (SBA), which will start putting together guidance once the bill is signed into law. It will take some time between the passage and the actual release of applications.

  • The Small Business Administration (SBA) will prioritize awarding grants to businesses owned or controlled by women, Veterans and socially disadvantaged businesses. 


Steps to Take Now:

  • As a reminder, this bill is not yet law, and this program does not yet have an application process that is open. However, in order to be able to apply to receive payments, the SBA will require you to do two things:

    1. Ensure your business has a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number
    2. Register with the System for Award Management (SAM)

  • Download the Independent Restaurant Coalition’s free guide to help you prep for a grant so that you can apply with ease when they are made available. (This guide includes complete instructions on how to get -- or find an existing --DUNS number and register for SAM.)

  • Show your support! Share the news and thank Congressional champions on social media using this graphic and suggested caption:

    Thank you, Congress. Relief for independent restaurants and bars is finally here. Stay tuned to @indprestaurants for info on how to apply.