Greetings. We once again write to you in acknowledgment of the difficult and often unprecedented situations facing many businesses, particularly our state’s small businesses. We thank you for your cooperation as we continue to seek out new resources, opportunities, and avenues to support you.
Earlier this week, Governor Raimondo announced that all employees of customer-facing businesses, office-based businesses, nonprofits, and manufacturers must wear cloth face coverings when they are at work and that all of these businesses must provide face coverings for their employees. You may read the full text of the governor’s executive order regarding wearing face masks here . This executive order, as implemented by the Department of Business Regulation, has been expanded to include, in effect, all businesses.
To help you, we have created a page on our website with details about sources of masks and how to make them at home.
I would also encourage you to post photos to social media highlighting the use of masks using the hashtag #MaskUpRI and we will endeavor to share on our social media channels. You can find more information on the Mask Up RI effort below.
We continue to be impressed by the creativity and initiative of RI’s businesses, which are adapting to address the new challenges they are facing — including the multiple RI manufacturers that have pivoted to produce cloth masks and, by doing so, are helping to make the state’s new face covering policy a reality and to keep us all safe.
Wishing you well, thankful for your resiliency, and ready to support you even more,
Introducing Mask Up RI
We’ve teamed up with StyleWeek and Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau to launch Mask Up RI.
This new social media campaign stresses the importance of making and wearing masks to limiting the spread of COVID-19.
We’re asking people to post a picture of themselves wearing a mask or facial covering, or videos of themselves making their masks and coverings, tag Mask Up RI on Twitter or Instagram, Introducing Mask Up RIand challenge three friends to do the same.
You can read more about Mask Up RI here.
State Partners with CVS to Increase Testing
Fortune 10 & Rhode Island-based company CVS Health announced free drive-through #COVID19 which will greatly increase the state’s testing capabilities.
Webinar: SBA Resources for Small Businesses impacted by COVID-19
Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor and Rhode Island SBA Director Mark Hayward recently hosted a webinar to discuss resources and programs available to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Watch the full video here.
The SBA Rhode Island District Office will host a series of Small Business Recovery webinars to provide the latest information on how the SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19.
Thursday, April 16, 2020, 1:00 P.M. – 2:00 P.M.
Dial-in: 1 (202) 765-1264 ; Code: 971432311
Entry Link: Join Skype Meeting
Friday, April 17, 2020, 9:00 A.M. – 10:00 A.M.
Dial-in: 1 (202) 765-1264 ;Code: 856527516
Entry Link: Join Skype Meeting
Industrious Spirit Co. featured on Seth Myers
The Industrious Spirit Company, a Rhode Island distillery, is creatively using its high-volume alcohol byproduct to produce free hand sanitizer in response to #COVID19 . Check them out on Late Night with Seth Meyers! Watch here!
Rhode Island-based Upserve is helping restaurants stay afloat during COVID19 by using technology to set up free online ordering for businesses across the country in just hours.
Read about their efforts in Forbes here.
With medical workers in need of personal protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic, many R.I. companies have shifted production to help those who need it most.
Read about one of them – Smithfield’s G-Form – who has pivoted from sporting equipment to PPE here.
Tech Resources for Small Biz
If you need help with technology in order to minimize in-person interactions as a result of coronavirus, RI’s leading tech businesses are volunteering free 45-minute remote support sessions. This help includes assistance with home technology, online meetings, e-commerce, remote working security, and more. Coaches with various specialties are available from Monday-Friday, 1 PM – 5 PM. Small businesses can sign up for a coaching session with the specialist of your choice here.
RI’s Manufacturers Pledge Safety
Dave Chenevert of the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association recently appeared on GoLocalProv to give an update on their efforts, including their Manufacturers Pledge, in which RIMA is asking the state’s manufacturers to follow the latest protocols and guidance so they can remain open. Watch the full video here.
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 . And with the “Gift it Forward” program, there’s a new way that makes it even easier for Rhode Islanders to support businesses impacted by COVID-19 by purchasing gift cards. You can lean more here . 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 non-essential retail storefronts are closed, you can support many of your favorite retailers by visiting their websites to shop their collections online.
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 questions regarding Unemployment Insurance or Temporary Disability Insurance, please contact the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training via email at email@example.com or phone at (401) 462-2020.
If you have questions about business closures or restrictions, please call the Department of Business Regulation at 401-889-5550 or submit your questions online on the Department of Business Regulation’s website.
For information on SBA small business loans and on technology providers offering free services (including videoconferencing), please visit CommerceRI.com , call (401) 521-HELP, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.