Governor John Bel Edwards is encouraging operators of Louisiana restaurants, bars, catering companies and other food-related establishments to register for the U.S. Small Business Administration's new Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

The fund is designed to help businesses offset losses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. The SBA launched this fund as part of the American Rescue Plan Act which includes $28.6 billion to help restaurants and other eligible businesses remain open.

The application process opened up yesterday (5/3/21). This new federal program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and up to $5 million per physical locations.

The great news is that recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as the money is applied to eligible uses by March 11, 2023.

Here is what Gov. Edwards had to say about this Fund and the restaurant industry in Louisiana:

Restaurants are vital to Louisiana’s economy, generating more than $10 billion in annual sales across our state. Our restaurants provide an enjoyable place for us to gather with family and friends, and they attract tourists from all over the world to share our state’s superior cuisine. These businesses were hit particularly hard by the pandemic conditions, shifting to takeout and local delivery where possible to stay afloat – and in the process – providing Louisiana residents with a welcome link to normalcy during difficult times. The new Restaurant Revitalization Fund can help business owners in this sector cover their losses and secure their footing as we continue our economic recovery, and I encourage all impacted restaurant owners in Louisiana to apply.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund is open to 11 categories of business including restaurants, caterers, bars, food trucks and food carts, bakeries, lounges and taverns, snack bars, brewpubs and breweries with onsite public sales, wineries and distilleries, and other related businesses that experience pandemic-related revenue loss.

To get complete information and apply for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, click here.

LOOK: Here are 25 ways you could start saving money today

These money-saving tips—from finding discounts to simple changes to your daily habits—can come in handy whether you have a specific savings goal, want to stash away cash for retirement, or just want to pinch pennies. It’s never too late to be more financially savvy. Read on to learn more about how you can start saving now. [From: 25 ways you could be saving money today]