According to the Independent Restaurant Coalition, 82 percent of restaurant operators will likely permanently close if Congress does not replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Through an email survey, the coalition discovered that 85 percent of restaurant and bar owners reported not receiving an RRF grant and 18.3 percent of restaurant owners reported having their credit scores reduced below 570 during the pandemic.
“Hundreds of thousands of neighborhood restaurants and bars are now teetering on the brink of permanent closure,” said Erika Polmar, executive director of the Independent Restaurant Coalition, in a statement. “Over 90,000 restaurants and bars have closed since the start of the pandemic. We do not want any more to close their doors because Congress and the Biden Administration have not provided the relief they need to survive. The only thing that will save these small businesses that support 16 million jobs is refilling the RRF.”
The Small Business Administration closed the fund application portal, leaving 177,000 restaurants and bars that applied for relief out in the cold, said the IRC.
“We took on so much debt to be able to continue what we were doing and now all those things are coming back,” said Chris Shepherd, chef and owner of Underbelly Hospitality in Houston, Texas, in a statement. “Without the RRF, I’m not sure how we will figure it out. It is imperative that Congress refill the RRF so that thousands of restaurants in Houston and across the country have the chance to survive and continue breathing life into our communities.”
Tyler Akin, chef-owner of Stock in Philadelphia, chef-partner of Le Cavelier in Wilmington, Delaware, and IRC co-founder echoed that sentiment in a statement, saying, “We’re among the unlucky businesses that did not receive RRF grants for any location. Quite frankly, if we do not receive grants we will not survive. The situation is more urgent now than it has been at any point during the pandemic.”