Massachusetts restaurants eligible for federal relief funds

A Massachusetts restaurant sets up for outdoor dining. File photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts restaurants that have struggled to stay open during the coronavirus pandemic are being offered a lifeline of up to $10 million through a federal relief program, authorities say.

The money is available through the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund, part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan passed last month, according to a statement Monday from U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley.

“Our restaurants are the backbones of our local economies and among the hardest hit by this public health and economic crisis,” the Democrat said.

The fund will provide restaurants and other eligible businesses with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business. The relief does not have to be repaid, provided that the funds are put toward eligible uses by March 2023.

Restaurants owned and operated by women, veterans, or the socially and economically disadvantaged will receive priority during the first 21 days of applications.

In addition to restaurants, other food service businesses including food trucks, caterers, bars, bakeries and brewpubs are eligible to apply.

Applications can be filed online at the Small Business Administration website.