Restaurants in Arizona can apply for federal grant money for pandemic relief

Billions of dollars in grant money will be provided to assist one of the hardest-hit industries during the COVID-19 pandemic — the food industry.

Restaurants are able to apply for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund as of May 3 through the Small Business Administration, all part of the Biden administration's American Rescue Plan.

Restaurant owners say if they are approved, it will help them make up for the money they lost and help them pay for rising supply and food costs.

Merita Kraja with Europizza Cafe says, "Very grateful because the restaurant industry has been hit the hardest."

She's thrilled about the news of the fund. It's a $28.6 billion grant fund for restaurants, bars, caterers and other food businesses.

Grants of up to $10 million are offered to assist the businesses and only small businesses will be given the grant money.

For Kraja, she says this would help her pay for the new patio they had to install to keep up with COVID-19 guidelines and rising rent prices.

"Hopefully we get it because that would be a big help for us," she said.

For the first 21 days of the application process, the administration will approve claims exclusively from businesses that are majority-owned by people who fall into one of the priority groups designated by Congress: women, veterans and individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged.

Learn more about the fund here