Restaurants got millions in pandemic help. Look up the beneficiaries in Destin, Fort Walton

Janessa Hilliard
Northwest Florida Daily News

Nearly $4.4 million in federal COVID aid went to more than two dozen area restaurants that applied for federal grants from the short-lived Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Nine restaurants in Fort Walton Beach, six in Crestview and 11 in Destin received checks.

Morning Star GC LLC in Fort Walton Beach, which operates a Golden Corral franchise, got the highest amount, at $1,088,009. All six Crestview companies received less than $300,000.

The $28.6 billion RFF fund was created in President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan signed into law in March. It was quickly exhausted by high demand and the program ended in July.

The program provided grants for 101,000 restaurants nationwide – representing about one-third of the 278,000 eligible applications received by the SBA. The SBA received thousands more applications that were not deemed eligible.

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Search the data to see if your favorite restaurants received funds

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) provided funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open during the COVID-19 pandemic. It provided restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.

Here is where you can look up which restaurants got the help and how much money each received. 

How can restaurants use Restaurant Revitalization Fund money?

  • Payroll (not including wages used for the Employee Retention Credit (ERC))
  • Principal or interest on mortgage obligations
  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Maintenance, including construction to accommodate outdoor seating
  • Personal protective equipment, supplies and cleaning materials
  • Normal food and beverage inventory
  • Certain covered operational expenses
  • Paid sick leave