A plea for Restaurant Revitalization Fund to be replenished

About 64% of eligible applicants for the fund went without a dime after it was closed last month.

DENVER — More than 278,000 businesses applied for federal relief through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RFF) but according to the Small Business Administration just 36% of those applicants were given anything.

Last month the U.S Small Business Administration announced the closure of the relief fund. It left about 64% of its eligible applicants without a dime.

Lisa Ruskaup the owner of Carbon Cafe and Habit Doughnuts was one of the applicants. She said when she applied the portal revealed she was eligible for roughly $375,000. 

“I got zero.” Ruskaup said. “We received an email saying we’re out of money and a ‘we’ll be in touch’ kind of thing and then they closed the portal.”

The RFF was established by the American Rescue Plan Act to help businesses stay open. The fund was to provide funding to businesses for their pandemic-related revenue loss.

According to the Small Business Administration, 177,000 business that submitted eligible applications did not receive any funding, the federal dollars ran out and now owners like Ruskaup and the Colorado Restaurant Association are pushing for Congress to replenish the fund.

“There’s no doubt [the money] would be helpful for us,” she said. “I’m going to do everything I can to sustain this business for us and keep people’s jobs and keep this community and this wonderful building but if I can’t pay the bills, I don’t know but I’m hopeful.”

9NEWS contacted a number of members of Congress representing Colorado to see where the efforts stood and have yet to hear back. 

SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Life after Covid