Thousands of restaurants pursuing Small Business Administration Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants have had their applications frozen, even as the SBA continues to pay out others. It’s the result of a series of legal setbacks by the agency.
The freeze is the result of three lawsuits challenging the 21-day priority application period — in which restaurants owned by women, veterans and socially or economically disadvantaged people — would be able to apply first and have those funds set aside. But court rulings in the northern District of Texas and elsewhere forced the SBA to freeze pending payments to 2,965 priority applicants.
“Obviously we understand that you are deeply disappointed, frustrated, outraged and a whole range of emotions,” said Patrick Kelley, head of the SBA’s Office of Capital Access, which oversees the program, in an online Q&A on Monday. “We share your frustration with this outcome, and we are going to remain committed to doing everything we can to support businesses.”
Get the best in local business news sent straight to your inbox with the Cleveland Business Journal. Free to sign up.