GoLocalProv: Grant Funding for RI Small Biz & Job Opportunities for Unemployed: Pryor LIVE | Rhode Island Commerce

Originally appearing: https://www.golocalprov.com/live/grant-funding-for-ri-small-biz-job-opportunities-for-unemployed-pryor-live 
By: GoLocalProv Business Team 
Posted: Friday, September 04, 2020

Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor discussed grant funding opportunities for small businesses — and job training and opportunities for unemployed Rhode Islanders — when he appeared on GoLocal LIVE on Thursday.

Pryor talked about how businesses can apply for the Restore RI grants

“The program enables small businesses — fewer than 20 employees — to get grants that increase as the size of your business increases — up to $15,000,” said Pryor. “We’ve already had 600 applicants get funded or into the closing process to get funded. We’re at $5 million going on $6 million in funding in total. It’s a $50 million program though, so there’s plenty of room.”

“So I recommend you check out commerceri.com — it’s got the basic rules laid out — how you demonstrate you have employees, how you demonstrate you’ve had revenue loss,” said Pryor. “You can do a month to month comparisons. We’ve made it as easy as possible — we’ve streamlined it over time, we want to see more and more businesses become part of this. If the application process is just a little bit much, or if you’re just time-constrained and you want to get up to speed, we have training sessions.”

Pryor noted the next training session is Wednesday, September 9 at 11 a.m. — and told people to check out Commerce RI’s Facebook page for upcoming sessions.

RI, Economy, and Employment

“Rhode Island has systemically worked to keep the public health conditions where they need to be to outperform the country — we were first to open in the region for dining outdoors and indoors. We’ve kept construction and manufacturing open through the whole crisis,” said Pryor. “That’s why we’re among the highest rates states for strength of economy for bringing it back to where it was [before coronavirus] at 89%.” Presently, RI ranks third for reopening by Moody’s.

“But let’s be clear businesses are hurting and people are hurting. These grants are patch, a bridge. There are people who are still unemployed and figuring it out,” he added.

“Rhode Island is doing very well in attempting to, and in fact adapting, but we have a long way to go,” said Pryor. “The Back to Work Initiative — companies right here in Rhode Island, like Electric Boat, like Bank of America with its presence here, but also big players like Microsoft, are making pledges to hire Rhode Islanders who’ve been displaced or otherwise disrupted by COVID and are searching for new job opportunities and are ready to be reskilled and are just looking for a chance for an employment arrangement with a training component.” 

“Rhode Islanders just want a shot — they want to perform on the job — and prove that they earned the job — and that’s how this will work,” he said.

For more information on the Back to Work RI initiative, go here.