Demand for Restaurant Relief Fund Far Exceeds Funding

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Credit…Ting Shen for The New York Times

Many applicants to the government’s pandemic relief program for restaurants, bars, caterers and other food businesses will be left empty-handed unless Congress provides more money for the $28.6 billion grant program, the head of the Small Business Administration said on Wednesday.

The agency’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund received more than 372,000 applications, seeking $76 billion — far more than the fund has available, the administrator, Isabella Casillas Guzman, said at a House Small Business Committee oversight hearing.

“There will be significant demand unmet at the close of this program,” Ms. Guzman said. The agency stopped accepting applications for the grants on Monday.

Congress created the restaurant fund in March and ordered the agency to prioritize applications from women and veterans, as well…

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