Raimondo Administration Announces More Than 45 Grants to Support Small Businesses & Hospitality, Arts & Tourism Industry - Rhode Island Commerce

To View the Full list of HArT Program Awardees Please Click Here

Today the Raimondo Administration announced more than 45 grants totaling nearly $3 million to Rhode Island’s small businesses and non-profit institutions. The grants are first round awards from the Administration’s hospitality relief program and business adaptation program.

Additionally, Rhode Island Commerce announced that the last day to submit an application for the state’s Restore Rhode Island small business program is Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 9 PM EST. To date, the Restore Rhode Island grant program has provided $33.5M in direct grants to over 2,600 Rhode Island small businesses.

“It’s our hope that these grants, loans, and tech resources help our small businesses and non-profit organizations navigate this continuing crisis,” said Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor. “For those small businesses and non-profits that have been considering whether to apply for a Restore RI grant, the time is now. We encourage you to apply by next week’s deadline, which is Tuesday, December 8.”

Restore Rhode Island
The Restore RI grant program is targeted towards businesses that have been most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Rhode Island small businesses are eligible for grants of up to $30,000 to cover fixed costs or COVID related expenses. Commerce will continue accepting applications for the program until December 8 at 9 PM. All applications received by this deadline will be reviewed for eligibility and completion. Questions about the Restore Rhode Island grant program can be sent by emailing info@commerceri.com

Small Business Development Fund Now Taking Applications

Rhode Island Commerce today announced that Enhanced Capital Rhode Island (ECRI) has opened applications for its $20 million small business loan program which is part of the Rhode Island Small Business Development Fund Program. The program’s primary focus is to provide financial assistance to businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Loans to eligible Rhode Island-based small businesses will be offered in the following two categories: 

  • Micro Loans of $10,000 to $50,000 per company
  • Larger Term Loans of up to $1 million per company

At least $15 million of loans will be provided to “COVID Impacted Businesses” defined as Rhode Island based businesses with a 33% revenue loss for the period January 2020 through May 2020 versus the same period for the prior year, or such other impacted businesses as may be approved on a case by case basis. More information and a link to the application can be found here: https://enhancedcapital.com/rhode-island/

Business Adaptation Grant Awards

Rhode Island Commerce today is announcing the first round of business adaptation grants to 31 businesses totaling $1.4 M in funding. The Business Adaptation Grant Program was designed to assist companies dramatically constrained and significantly impacted by the public health emergency resulting from the COVID 19 pandemic. The program grants were capped at $50,000 per business. To view the awardees in Round 1, please click here.

Hospitality, Arts & Tourism (HArT) Grant Awards

Rhode Island Commerce today also announced the first $1.4 M of awards through the state’s hospitality, arts and tourism (HArT) relief program to 17 small businesses and nonprofits. The competitive grant program aims to prevent the long-term closure of arts, culture, hospitality and tourism businesses and institutions, while also building resiliency, workforce support, and community engagement. The grants announced today are designed to spur economic activity, create safe convening opportunities, and allow increased and accessible artistic and tourist-friendly opportunities. The state is currently reviewing applications for an additional $18 M in grants through this program.

The following organizations have received grants in Round 1:

  • The Arctic Playhouse, West Warwick ($33,700): Updated technology for development of virtual programming.
  • AS220, Providence ($19,761): Produce and release 15 online streaming performances through the organization’s AS220 Live Arts program and make the AS220 Dance Studio available for instructors to conduct virtual dance instruction to remote audiences.
  • Chorus of Westerly ($30,000): Release pre-recorded Chorus of Westerly performances online and create a virtual holiday choral performance composed by choral members.
  • The Contemporary Theater Company, Wakefield ($33,244.44): A series of virtual productions, including Wakefield Idol and a Christmas Cocktail Cabaret
  • Everett, Providence ($45,380): A virtual forum related to Black Lives Matter that will involve performance elements; a virtual hour-long holiday comedy special with the Everett’s improv comedy group; a virtual production of the theater performance Good Grief; an online panel on incarceration for community members; and online classes for underserved students in Providence.
  • Federal Hill Commerce Association, Providence ($350,000): Daytime holiday events between late-November and mid-December and free delivery vouchers for food/goods purchased from 50+ Federal Hill small businesses.
  • Flickers, Providence ($29,900): Production of a Rhode Island International Film Festival special COVID-themed film festival in December 2020 and a virtual education program for students through the KidsEye Filmmaking Workshop.
  • Gallery Events LLC, Pawtucket ($1,990): Installing, digitizing, and promoting a virtual reality platform of the Look Who’s Coming to Dinner art exhibition.
  • Gamm Theater, Warwick ($64,470): A holiday radio broadcast of “It’s a Wonderful Life”
  • The Pawtucket Foundation ($69,000): Install a mural on private property in a key area of downtown.
  • Preservation Society of Newport County ($74,650): An outdoor holiday light show at The Breakers
  • Newport Music Festival ($25,877.50): A Christmas Carol Music Radio Program, the production of a Newport Music Festival Podcast, a virtual winter concert, masked pop-up caroling in front of nursing homes, a virtual toy drive for the MLK Community Center, and technology equipment upgrades for remote work/productions.
  • Rhode Island Museum of Science & Art, Providence ($23,712): Artist/Inventors Foster and Newly Adoptive Families Program
  • Rhode Island Zoological Society, Providence ($350,000): A drive-through holiday light show (includes a partnership with hotels)
  • The Talent Factory, North Kingstown ($175,000): Develop a Pop-Up Theater for outdoor performances, dance studios, and youth theater programs. 
  • TEN31 Productions, Pawtucket ($61,125.37):  A year-end dance performance with Metamorphosis Dance Company, which would either be broadcast live or pre-recorded for online streaming.
  • Trinity Repertory Company, Providence ($175,343.87): An online production of “A Christmas Carol,” additional interactive digital content, and technology investments for virtual programming.
  • The Steel Yard, Providence ($15,450): Create an outdoor market for local artists to sell goods.

Small Business Development Fund Now Taking Applications

Rhode Island Commerce announced that Enhanced Capital Rhode Island (ECRI) has opened applications for its $20M small business loan program which is part of the Rhode Island Small Business Development Fund Program. The program’s primary focus is to provide financial assistance to businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

ECRIF is a $20 million fund that plans to provide loans to eligible Rhode Island-based small businesses in the following two categories: 

  • Micro Loans of $10,000 to $50,000 per company
  • Larger Term Loans of up to $1 million per company

At least $15 million of loans will be provided to “COVID Impacted Businesses” defined as Rhode Island based businesses with a 33% revenue loss for the period January 2020 through May 2020 versus the same period for the prior year, or such other impacted businesses as may be approved on a case by case basis. More information and a link to the application can be found here: https://enhancedcapital.com/rhode-island/

Remote Work

Rhode Island Commerce today also announced that Social Enterprise Greenhouse and District Hall Providence have been selected as intermediary organizations for the Remote Work Grant Program. Through these two intermediaries, Commerce will purchase and distribute technology needed for businesses and nonprofits to bring their employees to effective, at-home remote work.

In-kind technology grants are available for businesses and nonprofits with between two and 100 employees. Businesses can apply to receive hardware or software needed to bring their employees to remote work at https://commerceri.com/tech-support-covid-19-1/.

These programs are in addition to the Take It Outside initiative, which distributed more than $6 million to more than 100 intermediary organizations.

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