The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced yesterday that the application portal for the agency’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) would close at 8:00 PM next Monday, May 24. Notwithstanding that the RRF was funded with almost $29 billion and was thought to be a big benefit for the entire restaurant industry, the program has exhausted its funds almost before it opened. When Congress passed the program as part of Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act back in early March, it also mandated that the SBA give first and exclusive priority to businesses owned by women, veterans and members of socially and economically disadvantaged communities for the first 21 days of the program. During that time, some 147,000 applications were prioritized out of a total of 266,000 applications! The amount committed in just those 147,000 applications equals approximately $29 billion – the full amount appropriated for the entire RRF program! Consequently, failing additional congressional appropriations for the program, there is little chance that more restaurants will be funded, but the application portal is open through Monday.