The State of NH is re-opening applications for the Local Restaurant Infrastructure Investment Program which provides awards to local restaurants seeking reimbursement for eligible equipment, infrastructure, and technology purchases up to an award cap of $15,000! The program is meant to reimburse restaurants for upgrades in technology or equipment to address staffing issues and covid mitigation measures. If you are a restaurant and did not apply before, you are eligible.
Who is eligible: This program is open to small food service establishments that are physically located in New Hampshire that provide indoor dining and meet all the following criteria:
- Have been operating prior to March 20, 2020;
- Be actively paying Meals & Rooms taxes to the State as a food service establishment;
- Are in good standing with the Secretary of State;
- Have annual gross receipts, including all affiliates, at or below $20,000,000, in tax year 2021, or not exceed annual gross receipts per New Hampshire location of $5,000,000;
- Be submitting expenses for only New Hampshire locations; and
- A national chain (locations in 3 or more states),
- A national franchise (locations in 3 or more states),
- Delivery or take-out only, or
- Primarily catering.
What equipment, infrastructure, or technology is eligible for reimbursement?
To address workforce issues, consumer behavior, and overall restaurant safety challenges experienced by small, local restaurants across New Hampshire due to COVID-19 the following equipment, infrastructure, and technology purchases are eligible if they are incurred and paid between November 1, 2021, and January 11, 2023:
- New or additional HVAC equipment that will improve indoor air quality for staff and customers:
- Non-exhaustive list of examples: airflow studies, system upgrades for air circulation, filtration, viral and bacterial mitigation, and efficiency improvements.
- Infrastructure to add or upgrade drive-up or take-out capacity:
- Non-exhaustive list of examples: construction costs for a drive-up window or take-out counter, electronic or video equipment for communication with a drive-up kiosk, and structures for expanded outdoor seating that are either permanent or can be used for more than a single season. Take-out supplies are not eligible.
- Technology purchases, including hardware and software, to improve or enable social distancing:
- Non-exhaustive list of examples: online or electronic ordering or payment capabilities, like equipment and services for tabletop ordering and payments, touchless payment systems, and ordering kiosks
- Technology purchases, including hardware and software, to address workforce shortages:
- Non-exhaustive list of examples: equipment listed above as beneficial to social distancing, as well as equipment or services for mobile/online ordering, check in/table assignment, digital integration with large third-party delivery companies, and kitchen technology investments.
- Installation or set-up charges associated with the above purchases.
- Only costs incurred and paid between November 1, 2021, and January 11, 2023, are eligible. Costs that will be incurred in the future, such as future licensing fees or service fees are not allowed.
The cost of the equipment must not have been reimbursed or covered by other state or federal programs or agencies.
If I previously submitted an application, may I submit a second application?
Awards are subject to a $15,000 cap per location. If a business previously applied for the program and received the full $15,000 for that location, the business may not apply again for reimbursement at that location. However, if a business previously applied and was denied an award, or previously applied and was granted an award of less than $15,000 for a given location, subject to all other eligibility requirements, the business may submit a second application for that or other locations. However, the amount of an award between both the first and second applications for a given location may not exceed the $15,000 cap.
Please note that the equipment, infrastructure, or technology for which you are requesting reimbursement in the second application must be different or distinct from what you requested reimbursement for in the first application.