Firm News

June 28, 2021

Angela Venti Discusses Update to SBA Restaurant Revitalization Fund

Director of Practice Growth, Angela Venti, explained the latest news with the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Almost 3,000 businesses are facing revocation of the SBA funding as a result of several lawsuits concerning the program’s unconstitutionality. The article, “Texas, Tennessee Lawsuits Trigger Cancellation of Restaurant Revitalization Money” on discusses the next steps for these business owners and the hardships they are now facing.

Angela Venti discusses the impact of the recent Restaurant Revitalization Fund problems and what business owners can do now.

“These lawsuits have led to three court rulings that preclude us from disbursing award funds to you,” Angela Venti, director of practice growth at Cherry Hill, New Jersey-based Alloy Silverstein Accountants and Advisors, quoted the SBA letter. Venti said restaurants in Texas and Tennessee filed lawsuits against the SBA, arguing that prioritizing the RRF to groups based on race and gender was unconstitutional.

The SBA website did not mention the delay in disbursements as of Thursday, but the letter sent Wednesday said the agency’s portal system would reflect that it would not be able to disburse the funds to the applicants receiving the letter, said Venti.

“Specifically, you will see the status of your application in SBA’s portal change to ‘fully canceled,'” the letter states, according to Venti.

Venti said applicants who received the letter Wednesday were told that they did not have to reapply for grants since the agency would release the funds when they can.

Lawsuits have been filed over the 21-day priority period, whereby the agency gives priority to small businesses owned by women, veterans or socially or economically disadvantaged individuals, said Venti, who spoke to someone at the agency who did not want to be identified. Applicants were asked to self-certify that they fit into one of these priority groups.

The 21 days began when the SBA began accepting applications in early May.

“It wasn’t something they (the SBA) really wanted to talk about, and my guess is it’s because of the lawsuits they’re not able to say very much,” she said. “The states are challenging, ‘Was that fair that they (the priority applicants) were getting preferential treatment?'”

Venti said determining who is socially or economically disadvantaged is problematic for the agency since there is no way to acknowledge it on a tax form.

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For more information about the SBA Restaurant Revitalization Fund, check out our article, click here. For continuous business updates regarding the Coronavirus pandemic, go to our COVID-19 Resource Center for timely resources.