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New COVID-19 grant program offers up to $10 million per business for Maryland restaurants

Maryland food establishments can pre-register to apply for a federal grant program that will offer up to $10 million for individual businesses that have suffered financial losses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, a $28.6 billion relief program created through the American Rescue Plan, food service businesses like restaurants, food trucks, bars, caterers, breweries and bakeries can apply through the U.S. Small Business Association’s application portal starting May 2.

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The program is offering food service businesses funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss — up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location, according to the Small Business Association.

The money should be put toward eligible uses by March 11, 2023. Early priority will be given to very small businesses and those owned by women, veterans or socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs, according to a news release.

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“This program will be a lifesaver to so many restaurants that are just hanging on by a thread,” said Maryland Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger in a statement.

Food service sales across the U.S. have fallen $255 billion, and 110,000 restaurants have closed, according to the National Restaurant Association.

“These are places that provide first jobs to many teens and lifelong careers to others,” said Ruppersberger, a Democrat who represents Maryland’s 2nd Congressional District and voted to pass the American Jobs Act.

“Their survival is critical to our nation’s economic recovery,” he said.

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The Small Business Association has also released a funding guide and sample application for business owners who wish to apply.

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