Governor McKee, Rhode Island Commerce Announce New Round of ‘Take It Outside’ Grants to Bolster Small Businesses | Rhode Island Commerce

PROVIDENCE, RI — Governor Dan McKee and Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Liz Tanner today announced the next round of the ‘Take It Outside’ Initiative; a statewide effort aimed at promoting outdoor commercial activities.

“The ‘Take It Outside’ initiative was born out of the pandemic as a way to keep our businesses operating in a safe manner,” said Governor McKee. “While the pandemic is behind us, we’re proud to continue this initiative which increases economic activity for our small businesses and promotes good public health practices.”

The grants are awarded to intermediary organizations who have applied for the funding to distribute to small businesses in Rhode Island. Today, seven intermediaries are receiving grants ranging from $40,000 to $220,000 and will be used to support a variety of activities like Al Fresco on Federal Hill in Providence and outdoor business programming including Make Music Day in Westerly. So far this year, $2.75 million in ‘Take It Outside’ grants have been distributed in support of more than 350 Rhode Island small businesses, half of which are women or minority-owned businesses.

“Thriving outdoor public spaces are good for both commerce and culture alike. For the third year in a row, Rhode Island is investing in projects that bring people together in towns and cities across the state,” said Lt. Governor Sabina Matos. “These grants will empower our small businesses and make our communities more accessible.”

“We recognize the enormous strain that the pandemic placed on our small businesses. Through the ‘Take It Outside’ grants, we aim to provide them with the resources necessary to continue their operations in a manner that safeguards public health,” said Commerce Secretary Liz Tanner. “We anticipate that the initiative will make a substantial impact on our collective desire to keep our citizens safe while simultaneously bolstering our economy.”

Over the next few months, an additional $2 million in ‘Take It Outside’ funds will be deployed to small businesses.

Today’s grantees include:

  • Federal Hill Commerce Association (Providence) – Up to $90,000
    A 2023 series of outdoor dining and shopping events known as Al Fresco on the Hill.
  • North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce (North Kingstown) – Up to $100,000
    To continue providing in-kind support for small businesses engaging in Take It Outside activities through the purchase and distribution of materials and equipment.
  • Center for Southeast Asians (Providence) – Up to $100,000
    To continue providing reimbursements for small businesses investing in Take It Outside projects.
  • Rhode Island Hospitality Association (Cranston) – Up to $220,000
    Reimbursements for businesses in the hospitality and tourism sectors.
  • East Greenwich Chamber of Commerce (East Greenwich) – Up to $40,000
    Support for Take It Outside programming through Summer of 2023.
  • Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce (Westerly) – Up to $10,000
    Outdoor business programming including Sunday Funday events, Small Business Speed networking, and Make Music Day.
  • Town of Lincoln (Lincoln) – Up to $75,000
    Improve accessibility at outdoor festivals and markets.

You can read more about the ‘Take It Outside’ Program here.