Press Releases

Hickenlooper Announces Nearly $500 Million in COVID Relief Awarded to Colorado Restaurants, Food Trucks & Bars

Jul 13, 2021

Funds were part of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, a $28.6 billion program created under the American Rescue Plan

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper today announced that 1,762 Colorado restaurants, bars, breweries, caterers, food trucks, and others received a total of $479,922,720 in Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) grants. The RRF program was created by Congress under the American Rescue Plan to help some of the hardest-hit small businesses get through the pandemic. 

“Restaurants are the heart of our communities and many in Colorado were in dire straits during the pandemic,” said Hickenlooper. “These grants will help keep many doors open and restaurant workers on the job.”

In June, Hickenlooper and Small Business Administration head Isabella Guzman visited Colorado restaurants that had received RRF funds. Hickenlooper, the SBA, and the Colorado Restaurant Association also held a seminar to help businesses apply for the program 

More than 75 percent of Colorado’s grants went to businesses owned by women, veterans, and people of color. Colorado recipients include:

  • 741 businesses owned by women
  • 462 businesses owned by members of socially and economically disadvantaged groups
  • 128 businesses owned by veterans
  • 191 businesses located in rural areas
  • 436 businesses located in Census-designated Low and Moderate Income (LMI) areas 
  • More than 50 breweries
  • More than 130 caterers
  • More than 220 bars and saloons

A list of Colorado RRF recipients and the amounts received is available HERE.

RRF grants do not need to be repaid and are more flexible than loans under the Paycheck Protection Program, answering a call from restaurant and bar owners for more versatility with relief funds. Restaurants were able to use this funding to cover a range of expenses besides payroll, including rent, construction, maintenance and more.

The program made up to $5 million in grants available per restaurant location, or $10 million per restaurant group, based on total loss in revenue between 2019 and 2020. It specifically set aside $5 billion for businesses with less than $500,000 in 2019 annual revenue.

Hickenlooper, a former brewpub owner, sits on the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship which oversees the SBA.

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