The S.B.A.’s Relief Effort For Restaurants Ends in Confusion

A $28.6 billion federal relief fund for restaurants and other food businesses closed on Wednesday after running out of money, having fulfilled fewer than a third of the grant requests it received.

The Small Business Administration, which runs the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, told unsuccessful applicants in an email that it was unable to fund all qualified applications because of “overwhelming demand.”

More than 370,000 business owners applied for more than $75 billion in funding, nearly three times what the program had available. Around 105,000 businesses were approved for grants, which averaged just over $272,000.

“For a hundred thousand restaurants, the R.R.F. has made their future clear and stable, but for the more than 200,000 operators shut out of funding, receiving this letter today only heightens their fear and anger,” said Sean Kennedy, a spokesman for the National Restaurant Association. “We need Congress to act.”

Industry groups…

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