White Male Restaurant Owners Will Be Last in Priority for Biden’s COVID-19 Relief
President Joe Biden’s “Restaurant Revitalization Fund” will prioritize federal relief for women and minority owners first, with white male owners left to bring up the rear.
The Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) was created through the American Rescue Plan Act and is overseen by the Small Business Administration (SBA). According to the program details, the RRF will “provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location.”
“Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023,” the SBA added.
Applications are now open and anyone meeting the eligibility criteria can apply. However, the SBA says it will “only process and fund priority group applications” for the first three weeks. During this “priority period,” only applications “where the applicant […] meets the eligibility requirements for a small business owned by women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals” will be given funding.
The application defines “socially and economically disadvantaged individuals” as follows (bolded emphasis ours):
Socially disadvantaged individuals are those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias because of their identity as a member of a group without regard to their individual qualities. Individuals who are members of the following groups are presumed to be socially disadvantaged: Black Americans; Hispanic Americans; Native Americans (including Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians); Asian Pacific Americans; or Subcontinent Asian Americans. Economically disadvantaged individuals are those socially disadvantaged individuals whose ability to compete in the free enterprise system has been impaired due to diminished capital and credit opportunities as compared to others in the same business area who are not socially disadvantaged.
In other words, anyone who isn’t a white American.
Once the three-week priority period is over, every other eligible applicant will receive funding “in the order in which they are approved by the SBA” and until all funds are exhausted.
The only way a white male restaurant owner could receive funding during the three-week priority period is if he’s a veteran. In addition to women and minorities, restaurant and venue owners who served in military, naval, or air service and weren’t dishonorably discharged are eligible for priority funding.