How Rhode Island businesses and shoppers are handling COVID-19 | Rhode Island Commerce

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We are writing once again this week to share news of businesses in our state that are rising to the challenge presented by the coronavirus situation. They are doing so with an innovative mindset and a charitable spirit.

Before we get into these examples of creativity and philanthropy, we offer these reminders:

For the latest information about COVID-19, please visit the official page of the Rhode Island Department of Health . People or businesses with general questions about COVID-19 and how to follow the latest guidance should call 401-222-8022, or if the call is outside of business hours, call 211.

For information on SBA small business loans and on technology providers offering free services (including videoconferencing), please visit , call (401) 521-HELP, or e-mail .

Locally Made Hand Sanitizers
Faced with high demand for hand sanitizer, JB Pharmacy & Compounding has started compounding their own . The pharmacy is offering them on a first-come first-served basis. Read more.320baa58 a807 4a95 9b56 4a8c9f8c976f

Additionally, distilleries in Rhode Island are manufacturing much-needed hand sanitizer.

Providence’s Industrial Spirits Company and South Kingston-based Sons of Liberty have both begin to distill and distribute alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

If you are a researcher, supplier, or manufacturer in possession of items that may be of assistance during this crisis (nasal swabs, masks, etc.), please visit the dedicated webpage here.

Bradford Soap Works to donate 70,000 bars of soap

Bradford Soap Works is donating 70,000 bars of soap. The longstanding West Warwick-based manufacturer is distributing the soap to Rhode Islanders through the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and Family Service of RI. Bless you, Bradford Soap!b114e4fa 4329 4f6c a509 9cbc2f7765d1

Venture Café goes 100% digital

Venture Café , in District Hall at 225 Dyer St in Providence announced that their weekly Thursday sessions will be continuing online.

Virtual Venture Café will feature all of the content from the weekly in-person Thursday Gatherings, online, using the Zoom meeting platform. Venture Caf é will offer digital access to Office Hours, networking opportunities, panel discussions, lectures, and more during the weekly meeting time. Click here to learn more.

In general, thanks to Microsoft and other technology companies, tech solutions are being made available to help Rhode Island businesses transition to remote workplaces. For more information on these services, please click here .

Read Local

At home and looking to do something fun or learn something fascinating? Consider buying a book from a local bookstore.

Paper Nautilus , a bookstore on Angell Street in Providence closed its doors to customers but opened its shop online.
The store will ship any book in its inventory for a small fee, or deliver locally. Follow their Instagram and Facebook for books from their shelves you may want to read.

Riffraff bookstore and bar , also in Providence, has opened their store for online orders. Simply e-mail with the title and they will quickly ship – or they can order if they do not have it in stock. They even offer free delivery in Providence! No matter which option you choose, payment can me made very simply online. Visit their website .

Restaurants switch to delivery and Pick-up

This week Governor Raimondo announced that, though restaurants, bars and coffee shops in Rhode Island will remain closed for dine-in service until Monday, March 30, take-out and delivery service can continue.

Eat Drink RI , the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau , and Discover Newport have compiled lists of R.I. restaurants offering pick-up and delivery.

Additionally, Farm Fresh Rhode Island is encouraging the community to use its Market Mobile wholesale service to get fresh food from local farms delivered to your home.

Seven Stars Bakery Donates 400 Loaves of Bread

Earlier this week, Seven Stars Bakery gave away 400 loaves of bread that were dropped off at the Leon Mathieu Senior Center in Pawtucket. From there, distributions were made to senior residents across Pawtucket and Central Falls.

Thank you, Seven Stars!

How You Can Support Local Businesses

While businesses do everything they can to help halt the spread of COVID-19, there are ways that you can shop remotely & electronically and support your local restaurants while following safety guidelines.

Namely – if you’re able and up for it, please buy gift cards, shop online, order takeout and delivery.

Purchasing a gift card to your favorite restaurant, shop, or venue is a great way to support local businesses immediately. Whether you give such cards as a gift or save them for future shopping or dining, purchasing gift cards will help businesses now.

Although restaurant dining areas will be closed during the COVID-19 outbreak, you are still able to order take out or delivery from your favorite Rhode Island eateries. And while many retail shops remain open, you can practice social distancing and support your favorite retailers by visiting their websites to shop their collections online.

Again, for information on SBA small business loans and on technology providers offering free services (including videoconferencing), please visit , call (401) 521-HELP, or e-mail .