April 23, 2021 at 05:56PM

Point-of-sale (POS) FinTech Toast is partnering with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help streamline the application process for restaurant industry grants. The $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), authorized by the federal government’s March stimulus bill, will soon begin the grant application process. The grants are intended to help make up for losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Nick DeLeonardis, Toast SVP, GM, payments, lending and payroll, said in a press release that the company “actively lobbied” politicians and wrote to Congress in an effort to get funds for the beleaguered restaurant industry. The company also teamed up with associations like the Independent Restaurant Coalition to help better “advocate for restaurateurs and their employees throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said DeLeonardis.

For the first three weeks, the RRF grants will be set aside for restaurants that are a minimum of “51 percent owned and controlled by women, veterans or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals,” according to the release. Restaurant owners applying during this initial round who are not approved can have their grant applications automatically re-submitted for review by the SBA during the next phase.

The restaurant industry was especially hard-hit by the pandemic, and more than a year later is still on life support as indoor dining slowly gets back to 100 percent. Data from PYMNTS showed that going to restaurants is one of the top five things people can’t wait to do again post-pandemic.

Toast said in February that it was mulling an initial public offering (IPO) in 2021 that could give the ResTech platform an estimated $20 billion valuation. Another ResTech startup, Olo, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, filed for a $100 million IPO in February.

Earlier this month, the Boston-headquartered Toast launched a POS payments solution for restaurants. The suite of contactless tools are guest-facing solutions intended to assist restaurant operators with cutting overhead and streamlining operations.

Toast Teams With SBA To Streamline $28.6 Billion Restaurant Grant Process …

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