RI Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor urged Rhode Islanders to shop local — and a new online platform — for last-minute shopping this holiday season and into the new year.
“Shop local — we have an enhanced website by which Rhode Islanders can shop right here in Rhode Island and can do so if you like digitally. You can buy goods online for those businesses that do it,” said Pryor in an appearance on GoLocal LIVE.
“That website is Shoplocalrhodeisland.com — we’ve got over 1900 local Rhode Island businesses signed up, and we’ve had over 33,000 unique visitors in just the last 25 days,” he said.
“It’s everything you could want to purchase. We’re trying to do this so you don’t have to resort to one of those big national platforms, and [have to] buy something that comes from a greater distance to Rhode Island,” said Pryor. “You can support these shops and stores…that have been struggling. We’ve been offering subsidies, offering investments, but there’s no substitute for us as consumers.”
“Please, as you consider you’re last minute-shopping — consider shoplocalrhodeisland.com,” he said.
Federal Dollars in Focus
“No one claims any amount of subsidy a small state can put forward is full equal to the task — no way and no how and we’ve got to go on and do more in the way of assistance,” said Pryor.
“Having said that, we’re pleased the Restore program — which is available to a broad array of businesses — we’ve now done $45 million worth of payments. It’s over 3300 businesses in every single city and town,” he said.
“Also, the new Pause program — the Governor’s program to provide relief as we undertook some new restrictions and closures over the past three weeks – 1,500 checks have gone out on the mail, over $35 million,” he added.
“In total, using our CARES Act money from federal government — we’re putting over $125 million out to small businesses across Rhode Island,” he said.