Registration starts Friday for restaurant relief fund

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Photo courtesy of Kentucky SBDC

Competition expected to be fierce for national COVID-19 help 

COVINGTON, Ky. – Registration starts tomorrow morning and applications will be accepted starting Monday for a new, national COVID-19 relief fund for restaurants, bars, hotels, caterers, breweries, and similar businesses.
 
The Restaurant Revitalization Fund is managed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, not the City.
 
“But we want to make sure that Covington businesses are aware and position themselves to apply for those funds quickly,” said Ross Patten, assistant economic development director at the City. “Potential awards are significant, but competition will be fierce and funds are expected to depleted fast.”
 
Furthermore, the application process is complex and time-consuming, and new information is coming out almost by the hour.
 
That’s why the City is advising any business interested in applying to make sure its first step is to contact an expert resource located here in Covington – the Kentucky Small Business Development Center (SBDC) on Pike Street – by calling (859) 993-7773 or emailing Lisa Brann at Lisa.brann@uky.edu.
 
Brann said businesses can register beginning at 9 a.m. tomorrow at the SBA site, HERE, and can start formally applying at noon Monday.
 
She noted that for the first 21 days, the SBA will prioritize funding applications from businesses owned and controlled by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. The national agency also continues to clarify details of the process.
 
“Nevertheless, I encourage anyone who is eligible to submit an application as soon as the portal opens, and we can get you started on that,” she said.
 
Patten said the National Restaurant Association created an extremely helpful Q&A found HERE.
 
The fund is part of the recent American Rescue Plan Act. The minimum grant amount is anticipated at $1,000 for eligible businesses but could be much, much higher for larger businesses (the SBA defines “small business” as those with up to 500 employees), Patten said.
 
“Our local restaurants, watering holes, entertainment, and lodging destinations have long created and contributed to Covington's identity and quality of place,” Patten said. “We want everyone to come out of COVID stronger than ever, so we are pushing all eligible business owners to be prepared to submit their application immediately when the portal opens.”
 
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