SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF GRANT PROGRAM
New grant applications are not being accepted at this time. The deadline to apply was 5:00 PM on Friday, April 30, 2021. To learn more about PPP or other resources, please click here.
R.I. Small Business Relief Grant Program: Helping small businesses affected by COVID-19
The Rhode Island Small Business Relief Grant Program provides grants of $5,000 for Rhode Island small businesses that have suffered financially due to COVID-19. Grant funds may be used to pay for:
- Wages and/or salaries of employees to avoid furloughs or layoffs;
- Operational costs incurred to enable the business to remain open through the state of emergency; or
- Facilitating the reopening of the business if the business was unable to remain open for a portion of the state of emergency.
Who is eligible?
This program is designed for Rhode Island small businesses. Applicants must:
- Be small Rhode Island-based for-profit businesses with less than $1M in 2020 “gross receipts or sales”;
- Demonstrate that they have a COVID-related net financial need of $5,000 or greater. This will be calculated by subtracting the total amount of COVID related grants or financial assistance received for 2020 from the total drop in gross receipts from 2019 to 2020. Businesses who do not meet the $5,000 requirement may also add COVID-related increased costs or expenses.
Please review the FAQ for more information about eligibility.
What to expect after you submit your application
Thank you to those who applied. Applicants who submitted a completed application received confirmation of receipt of their application immediately. We received a tremendous volume of applications and are working hard to process them as quickly as possible. We expect the majority of applicants will have their checks mailed within 3 weeks of application submittal.
Here’s some important information about this process to help avoid delays in receiving your grant:
- If we have any questions about your application, you will receive an email from ReliefGrantUpdate@commerceRI.com or our partners at the Community Reinvestment Fund (email addresses ending in @CRFUSA.com). Please watch your inbox and check your spam filters for emails from us.
- Some applicants are randomly selected to provide documentation to support their grant application (you can find out more about this process in the FAQ). If you are selected, you will receive an email from the Community Reinvestment Fund with instructions on how to provide documentation. If you need any help with this process, we have technical assistance partners available to assist you. A full list of providers is linked below.
- If you are approved for a grant award, you will receive two emails from DocuSign. One email will have the subject line: “Electronic Signature Request from CRFUSA, Inc.” and the second email will have a subject line with the phrase “Electronic Signature Access Code”. The access code email provides you with a unique code to log in and complete a grant agreement, grant attestation, and W-9 tax form through DocuSign. Completing the documents in the DocuSign email is required to process your grant award. For more information about the DocuSign emails and what they look like, please visit our DocuSign FAQs.
Please completely fill out and sign all three documents. To avoid processing delays, we ask that you verify your information is correct. For your grant award to be processed:
- The grant agreement must be in the legal name of your business. The legal name of your business is the name of your business as registered with the Secretary of State or the name you file taxes under. For example, if you are a sole proprietor this is your first and last name, not a DBA or other alias.
- The W-9 must include the address where your grant award will be mailed. It is very important to make sure the correct mailing address is entered here. This must match an address included in your initial application for the grant program.
If for any reason, your completed W-9 includes information does not match your application, this will cause delays in receiving your grant. You will be contacted by Commerce or our partners at the Community Reinvestment Fund to correct the W-9 and/or Grant Agreement. If you would like help completing your W-9 or grant agreement, you can request assistance by filling out this form [https://commerceri.com/your-business-advisor/].
Once you complete the DocuSign package of documents, we will process your grant award for payment. Checks are mailed to the mailing address provided in your grant application and confirmed on your W-9.
- Pre-Application Checklist
- Sample Application PDF
- Video Walkthrough of Application
- If you need technical or language assistance in completing the application, please see our list of Technical Assistance Partners
Businesses that require assistance may contact the Rhode Island Commerce Small Business Hotline by clicking here.