COVID-19 SUPPORT - Business Funding - Rhode Island Commerce

Non-SBA funding for small business

Información en espanol.

The primary source of funding during COVID-19 are the U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). You can learn about those here.

Below are non-SBA funding resources to assist small businesses in the wake of economic challenges presented by the pandemic. Bookmark this page and check back often for updates. Please scroll down to see all programs.

Providence Commercial Corridor Micro-Business Loan Program

The Providence Commercial Corridor Micro-Business Loan Fund will provide financing to micro-businesses to help address safety measures needed for reopening due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Fund will be housed and managed by the Providence Revolving Fund, it is being launched in collaboration between the Providence Revolving Fund and the City Council. The commercial corridors in the pilot phase of this program are Broad Street, Cranston Street, Elmwood Avenue, Broadway (West of I-95), and Westminster Street (West of I-95) in the City of Providence.

Providence Commercial Corridor Micro-Business Loan Program has been capitalized with a matching grant from the Providence City Council of $100,000 and an initial $5,000 grant from Customers Bank — providing over $200,000.00 in micro-loans to our most vulnerable businesses. Additionally, 30% of the Fund will be set aside for Women/Minority-owned businesses.

Eligible businesses include service, retail, and manufacturing companies that employ fewer than ten full-time employees, earn less than $250,000.00 annually, and are located on or near the pilot commercial corridors. Businesses in these areas can apply for loans ranging from $500 to $5,000.00. Loans are available for any physical alterations needed to be compliant with the Rhode Island Department of Health and Commerce RI guidelines for reopening. Additionally, up to 25% of loan funds can be used for PPE for staff. Credit history will not affect the ability to obtain a loan, and collateral will not be required.

Forms and Information

Frequently Asked Questions / Preguntas frecuentes

Download “CommercialCorridors-Micro-Business-Loan-FAQ-EN.pdf” in English
Descargar “CommercialCorridors-Micro-Business-Loan-FAQ-EN.pdf” en español

Loan Application / Solicitud de préstamo

Download “PRF-CommercialCorridor-Micro-Business-Loan-APP-EN.pdf” in English
Descargar “PRF-CommercialCorridor-Micro-Business-Loan-APP-ES.pdf” en español

Links / Enlaces

City Council’s Website about the program

MicroNOW Loans

MicroNOW loans from CIC (Community Investment Corporation) are available to qualified small businesses in three set amounts.

MicroNOW Options:

Loan Amount – $5,000
·     Term: 12 months
·     Monthly Payment: $434.36
·     Packaging Fee: $100 

Loan Amount – $10,000
·     Term: 24 months
·     Monthly Payment: $451.13
·     Packaging Fee: $200 

Loan Amount – $15,000
·     Term: 36 months
·     Monthly Payment: $468.32
·     Packaging Fee: $300

Whether selecting a $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000 loan option – monthly payments will be deferred for six months for loans that close before 9/27/2020

During the deferment period the SBA will step in and make those payments on their behalf – again, subject to continued funding through the CARES Act.

Basic Criteria:

·     FICO Score – minimum 675
·     Business in operation – minimum 1 year
·     No late payments in last 12 months (as reported to credit bureaus)

Businesses that do not meet the “Basic Criteria” for a MicroNOW loan can contact CIC for more information about their regular SBA Microloan Program.

Contact Kristen Clark – to start the application process, or visit

Microenterprise (MicroE) Stabilization Grant Program

Rhode Island’s microenterprise stabilization grant program is designed to assist small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 and left out of federal stimulus programs to-date. The program will provide grants of up to $5,000 to qualifying microenterprises. Funds may be used for working capital to cover business costs, such as rent, staffing, utilities.


To qualify, you must be a bona fide business entity in a participating municipality (below), with no more than five employees and one or more of the business’s employees must be an owner. The business owner(s)’ total household income must be 80% or less of their area median income, based on family size. You can view 80% of the area median income for Rhode Island regions here.

All applications will be processed via participating municipalities, which are:

  • Barrington
  • Bristol
  • Burrillville
  • Central Falls
  • Cumberland
  • Hopkinton
  • Jamestown
  • Middletown
  • Newport
  • North Providence
  • North Smithfield
  • Portsmouth
  • Smithfield
  • South Kingstown
  • Tiverton
  • Warren
  • West Warwick
  • Westerly

If your business is in one of the participating towns above, please reach out directly for more information on how to apply, view each town’s contact information here.

Don’t see the city or town in which your business is located listed here? Sign up to receive email updates on new additions to the program here.

Application materials

When you apply you will be asked to provide the following documents:

  • Driver’s license or state-issued photo ID
  • Personal tax returns for all adults filing separately (2018 or 2019)
  • Business tax returns (2018 or 2019)
  • Copies of payrolls for most recent pay period and pay period ending on/before 3/7/2020
  • Detailed summary of revenue for impacted period in 2020 (e.g., March), and same period in 2018 or 2019

Translated materials

Click on the below for this information in other languages:

LISC Small Business Relief Grants

Para leer esta información en español, haga click aquí.

Click here to visit the LISC Site (Local Initiatives Support Corp.) website to learn about Small Business Relief Grants and apply.


From the LISC website:
Small businesses across the country, the backbone of our nation’s economy, are facing potentially devastating economic pressure as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many have already been forced to shut temporarily, and even those operating remotely still face major revenue shortfalls. With few or no reserves to pay their expenses, many will have no choice but to lay off workers and close their doors forever.

Financial assistance at this critical time can make the difference between staying in business or closing permanently, leading to lost income and jobs and economic instability.

Thanks to support from funders like Verizon, Sam’s Club, Truist and Lowe’s, we are providing grants to small businesses, to help them keep functioning and remain vital facets of their local economies through this challenging period.

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