Restaurants Receive Additional Support Under the American Rescue Plan of 2021

President Biden recently signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, H.R. 1319 (the “Act”) into law on March 11, 2021. The Act will send aid to millions of Americans still recovering from the global COVID-19 pandemic. Of particular interest to the restaurant industry, the Act provides the industry with additional assistance through the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund (the “Fund”).

Section 5003 (Support for Restaurants), Title IV (Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship) provides support to restaurants as follows:

  • Fund: A total of $28.6 billion is appropriated for a new program at the Small Business Administration (SBA) offering assistance to restaurants and other food and drink establishments. Of this amount, $5 billion is set aside for businesses with less than $500,000 in 2019 annual revenue.
  • Restaurant Revitalization Grants: Grants are available for up to $10 million per entity (and affiliates), with a limitation of $5 million per physical location up to 20 locations.
    • Revitalization grants are calculated by subtracting 2020 revenue from 2019 revenue. During the first 21 days post enactment of the Act, priority will be given to applications from restaurants owned and operated by women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
    • Revitalization grants may be used for a wide variety of expenses, including payroll, mortgage, rent, utilities, supplies, food and beverage, paid sick leave, and operational/maintenance expenses.

Section 9673 (Tax Treatment of Restaurant Revitalization Grants) of the Act also provides specialized tax treatments for restaurants that receive revitalization grants. Section 9673 of the Act reads as follows:

  • Revitalization grants from the SBA under section 5003 will not be included in the gross income of the restaurants that receive those grants.
  • No deduction will be denied, no tax attributable to the restaurant be reduced, and no basis increase will be denied, by reason of the exclusion from gross income.
  • In the case of a partnership or S corporation that receives revitalization grant, (a) any amount excluded from the restaurant’s income shall be treated as tax exempt income for purposes of sections 705 and1366 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (“Code”), and (b) the Secretary of the Treasury is required to prescribe rules for determining a partner’s distributive share of any grant amount excluded from the restaurant’s income for purposes of section 705 of the Code.

If you have further questions regarding the American Rescue Plan’s implications for the restaurant industry, please contact Robert L. Johnson or Jason J. Redd.

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