KPMG Spark Blog

Making the Most of Restaurant Relief Funding

Beyond predictable product expenses, some restaurants might opt to use the Restaurant Relief funds to better adapt to a post-pandemic dining culture that will likely continue to expect extra sanitization, more outdoor seating, and ample distance between tables—all of which have associated costs.

Brett Goldsberry, Tax Managing Director at KPMG Spark, shares his insights on the Restaurant Revitalization Funding Program.

Since the application closed on May 24th, restaurants across the US are anxiously waiting to hear about the distribution of $28.6 billion dollars in relief funding through the SBA’s Restaurant Revitalization Funding Program. It’s been slow to roll out, but is much needed by the restaurant and food service industry after dramatic profit loss during widespread shutdowns in 2020 and early 2021.

This particular grant is unique because unlike the last federal relief fund, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), it allows eligible applicants such as restaurants, food carts, breweries, bakeries, caterers, and bars to use the award for a wider variety of expenses. When Brett Goldsberry, Tax Managing Director at KPMG Spark, reached out to his eligible clients to encourage them to apply, they were excited to learn about the flexibility of the Restaurant Revitalization Grant. “Every client saw the advantage of being able to 'use it for almost whatever I want, not just payroll.' That was an upside for everyone,” he shared. Though it’s not a stipulation, some restaurants may choose to use the grant for payroll—it is a major operating expense, after all.

So how might restaurants take full advantage of the grant, when the rollout is all said and done?

“Supplies are the biggest thing,” said Goldsberry. “That's everything from napkins to food.” Beyond predictable product expenses, some restaurants might opt to use funds to better adapt to a post-pandemic dining culture that will likely continue to expect extra sanitization, more outdoor seating, and ample distance between tables—all of which have associated costs. Additional eligible expenses listed on the program guide include rent or mortgage payments, business debts, and utilities.

To apply for the Restaurant Revitalization Funding Program, applicants needed to provide specific financial data including their restaurant’s 2019, 2020, and partial 2021 gross receipts, plus the amount of PPP funding they already received and how much was used for eligible expenses. Keeping these numbers accessible and accurate can be a challenge for any small business, especially after such a tumultuous year. Luckily, KPMG Spark makes it easy for all business owners and operators to swiftly access financial data, making applying for grants and other funding sources easier. “The application can be daunting, especially for single-owner businesses. Typically what happens is they'll call and say, ‘I don't know how to fill this out.’ Well, let's pull your financials up on KPMG Spark and look together. We can bring some calm to the process,” said Goldsberry.

Having clean, usable financial data is key to being able to apply to grants in a timely manner. Though the Restaurant Revitalization Grant has closed, there’s always a possibility that more relief funding will be announced. If that happens, it is imperative that restaurants—and all businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic—have their bookkeeping organized so they can apply before it’s too late.

Learn more about using KPMG Spark for bookkeeping, tax preparation, and facilitating access to payroll services by calling a bookkeeper at 1-855-777-7696.


The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of KPMG LLP.

This blog article is not intended to address or provide advice concerning the specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity and does not constitute an endorsement of any entity or its products or services.

Some or all of the services described herein may not be permissible for KPMG audit clients and their affiliates or related entities.

The following information is not intended to be “written advice concerning one or more Federal tax matters” subject to the requirements of section 10.37(a)(2) of Treasury Department Circular 230. The information contained herein is of a general nature and based on authorities that are subject to change. Applicability of the information to specific situations should be determined through consultation with your tax adviser.


KPMG SparkAugust 10, 2021Posted In: Tax Tips


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