Is April 30 the Magic Day?

This RRF webinar actually gives an (unofficial, very tentative) application opening date.

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Astute readers will note the costs of expanding existing outdoor seating is not an eligible expense; watch the webinar for more details.

The long-awaited Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) portal inches ever closer to opening; word in the below webinar hosted by the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA) is that you may be able to submit an application “as soon as April 30,” though that’s not official. Currently, the portal in the midst of an invite-only pilot period before it opens to the public. (Don’t worry: Applications submitted during this time won’t be awarded money first; they’re simply being collected for the purposes of troubleshooting the portal to avoid a disastrous launch.) As always, the SBA encourages operators to apply on day one as funds are limited.

The other big takeaway? Check out the Small Business Administration’s RRF Knowledge Base, which contains over 100 questions about the application process, eligibility, and navigating the portal. The webinar Q&A starts at 45:17. Also note that if you use Square or Toast as your POS, the application process should be seamless, as the systems will submit your app for you. Clover and Aloha won’t be able to submit your app, but they will provide all the info you need.

There’s also info on proposed changes to Denver’s zoning code, and a pandemic impact survey that will help the CRA address industry concerns like staffing, capacity restrictions, single-use plastics, and more.

The following information comes from the CRA’s April 23 newsletter. Sign up to receive the full version here. And take a gander at its Coronavirus Resource Center and Restaurant Worker’s Guide to the COVID-19 Vaccine for more info. 

SBA Announces Restaurant Revitalization Fund POS Partners

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has released the names of the point-of-sale (POS) service providers that can be utilized for Restaurant Revitalization Fund grant applications. It appears that only two (Square and Toast) will actually support the submission of an application, but all will provide knowledge support and gross receipts documentation (Square, Toast, Clover, and NCR/Aloha).  

Once the SBA begins accepting applications, eligible restaurants can apply directly through their POS service providers. While each POS provider is helping in different ways – such as building pre-packaged point-of-sale documentation – all POS systems listed are helping restaurant owners with their application submission process. 

Full-service vendors providing application submission and automation for current customers:

Participating vendors providing supporting documentation and knowledge support for current customers:

Applicants can apply for RRF grants through one of three ways:

  • Through one of the POS service providers listed above.
  • By submitting your application online here.
  • By applying through the phone at (844) 279-9989. Please note phone applications may be subject to a longer processing time.

Watch Our Restaurant Revitalization Fund Webinar With Sen. Hickenlooper, Nat’l Restaurant Association, SBA, & Messner Reeves

This morning, we hosted an information-packed webinar about what the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) means for Colorado restaurants with Senator John Hickenlooper, Aaron Frazier of the National Restaurant Association, regional SBA representatives, and Torben Welch of Messner Reeves LLC. Panelists explained who is eligible to apply for RRF grants and when; what you need to know about the grant application process; how and when you can legally spend the grant funds; and more! 

Watch the recording here. View the presentation slides here and here.

During the program, our panelists provided the following helpful links for applicants:

  • View the application here.
  • View a sample application here.
  • View the Nat’l Restaurant Association’s FAQ here.
  • View the SBA’s program guide here.
  • View the SBA Knowledge Base here.

Denver Proposes Updates to Zoning Code

Just as infrastructure requires maintenance to stay in top condition, the Denver Zoning Code also needs regular maintenance to continue to respond to the needs of the city while remaining modern and flexible. The City has issued the 2021 bundle of text amendments and proposed code changes to correct and clarify existing zoning rules and make small adjustments for consistency with adopted city policy.

The bundle of text amendments is expected to go before City Council for adoption in mid-June 2021. If approved, the updated code would become effective upon the mayor’s signature. 

If approved:

  • All new applications received after the effective date (expected in mid-June) would be required to submit under the updated code.
  • Applicants who submitted under the current code have 6 months to obtain their zoning permit. 
  • If the project is not approved within the 6-month grace period, applicants would have to comply with the updated code in order to receive a zoning permit. 
  • Modifications to plans approved under the current code are allowed for up to 1.5 years.
  • Modifications after the 1.5-year grace period would be required to submit under the updated code.

View the proposed amendments here. Sign up to ask questions here.

April 2021 Pandemic Impact Survey

As we move into year two of the COVID-19 crisis, the Colorado Restaurant Association is continuing to collect information on the economic impact of the pandemic on the restaurant industry, as well as details on how anticipated legislative proposals will impact you. 

This survey specifically aims to collect data on staffing concerns, patio expansions, worker vaccines, and other timely issues. Data collected in this survey will helps us make a case to the State and local municipalities to further fund patio expansion grants and determine the best ways to help you combat staffing challenges. We also plan to use the data collected in our advocacy efforts, in recovery conversations across the State, and with the media. Please be assured that all information provided is anonymous and strictly confidential.

Click here to take this short (and very helpful) survey.

Talk to DiningOut! Email your experiences (and thoughts, opinions, and questions—anything, really) to askus@diningout.com

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