Raimondo administration announces additional grants to more than 200 small businesses and organizations

By Rhode Island Commerce

Today, the Raimondo administration announced more than 200 grants totaling more than $ 16 million to small businesses and nonprofits in Rhode Island. The grants, rolled out by Commerce and backed by funding from the CARES Act, aim to help businesses pivot their business models, move safely to remote work, and support hospitality, arts and tourism organizations in the state.

“These grants provide new doses of support to small businesses and nonprofits in our state as they continue to navigate this crisis,” said Stefan Pryor, Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce. “We hope there will be more rounds of federal stimulus so that we can offer even more help to our small businesses.”

Hospitality, art and tourism grants (HArT)

Rhode Island Commerce announced grants under the state’s Hospitality, Arts and Tourism (HArT) Relief Program. The awards consisted of $ 4.7 million to 62 arts and tourism organizations for engagement, service and resilience (“ESR”) activities.

In addition to ESR funds, the HArT program also provided 40 organizations with direct support grants totaling $ 8 million. Combined with the first round of scholarships, the total amount awarded by the HArT program amounts to $ 14.1 million to 95 organizations.

The HArT grant program aims to prevent the long-term closure of arts, culture, hospitality and tourism businesses and institutions, while building resilience, workforce support and community engagement. The grants announced today are designed to stimulate economic activity, create safe gathering opportunities, and enable increased and accessible artistic and tourism opportunities.

“The State Arts Council is proud to partner with Commerce to help arts and culture organizations meet the very real challenges they face during this pandemic,” said Randall Rosenbaum, executive director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts . “The arts were the first sector affected by the onset of COVID-19, and the economic losses the arts community has suffered have been staggering. Thanks to Secretary Pryor and Commerce, we hope to soon see the arts regain their full force, contributing to the economic and cultural well-being of our state. “

To read the full list of winners, click here.

Business adaptation grants

Rhode Island Commerce today announced $ 1.8 million in additional funding to 68 businesses as part of the second round of Business Adaptation Grants. The first round of funding announced earlier this month saw $ 1.4 million in funding awarded to 31 companies, bringing the total amount awarded under this program to $ 3.2 million at 99 companies.

The Business Adaptation Grant Program was designed to help businesses significantly constrained and heavily impacted by the public health emergency resulting from the COVID 19 pandemic.

To read the full list of winners, click here.

Remote work

Rhode Island Commerce announced that the Remote Work Grants program has distributed more than $ 1.6 million in resources to 123 businesses in more than 20 towns and cities. These grants help 420 employees with the hardware and software necessary for effective remote work from home. Commerce works through two intermediaries, Social Enterprise Greenhouse and District Hall Providence, to purchase and distribute this useful technology.

In-kind technology grants are always available for businesses and nonprofits with between two and 100 employees. Companies can request to receive the necessary hardware or software to bring their employees to work remotely at The deadline to apply for this program is Friday December 18th.

Small Business Development Fund continues to receive applications

Rhode Island Commerce reported that Enhanced Capital Rhode Island (ECRI) continues to receive applications for its $ 20 million small business loan program, which is part of the Rhode Island Small Business Development Fund program. The main objective of the program is to provide financial assistance to businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Qualifying Rhode Island Small Business Loans are offered in the following two categories:

  • Micro-loans of $ 10,000 to $ 50,000 per business
  • Larger term loans of up to $ 1 million per business

At least $ 15 million in loans will be made to “COVID Affected Businesses” defined as Rhode Island-based businesses with a 33% revenue loss for the period January 2020 to May 2020 compared to the same period of the year. previous year, or to other affected businesses as may be approved on a case-by-case basis. More information and a link to the app can be found here:

These programs are in addition to the Restore Rhode Island Grants Program, which to date has awarded more than $ 42 million to more than 3,250 companies; and the Take It Outside Initiative, which has distributed over $ 7.2 million to more of 100 intermediary organizations, including a recent addition of $ 760,000 to award recipients.

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