SupplyRI continues to provide local suppliers with meaningful economic opportunities, with over $105.8M in contracts awarded during the pandemic. This past month, the Take It Outside Grant Program has awarded $6.4 million total in grants to help Rhode Island businesses increase outdoor commerce in an effort to reduce the transmission rate of COVID-19.
“We are invigorated and inspired by the growing number of organizations and businesses that are taking it outside,” said Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor. “We are grateful to Rhode Islanders for proposing yet additional – and very practical – ways to conduct business and live life outdoors. Doing so will enable us to get even more commerce going while keeping ourselves even safer.”
As fitness classes, dining, family activities, and even business meetings transition to take place out in the fresh air, the SupplyRI team has been working diligently with Chambers of Commerce, Cities, Towns, and various organizations to procure much-needed products and services. To date, SupplyRI has facilitated the distribution of over 640 heaters to Take It Outside awardees in addition to myriad of other products and services.
SupplyRI is extremely grateful to all of our suppliers for their assistance in providing essential products and services; the successful connections due to Take It Outside have been a boon to the Rhode Island small business community during these unprecedented times.
“The City of Woonsocket was recently awarded a $90K grant to implement outdoor programs under the Governor’s “Take it Outside” Initiative. We found that much of the equipment needed for programming was expensive and often in short supply with long delivery lead times. We turned to the supply team at RI Commerce for help and they were able to quickly help us procure the outdoor equipment and products that we needed for immediate delivery and at a great price. Their resources and procurement abilities were vital in our being able to help Woonsocket businesses, seniors and residents “Take it Outside” during the upcoming colder months.” – Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, Mayor, City of Woonsocket
“SupplyRI was a great partner to the Town of Bristol and its businesses throughout the “Take It Outside initiative. Doris and Bronte were always responsive to any questions that we had, and they helped our team connect with local vendors who could deliver outdoor supplies in a pinch.” – Chris Vitale, Economic Development Coordinator, Town of Bristol
“SupplyRI was instrumental in connecting the dots for Under Cost during this challenging time for small businesses. With their helming, we were able to provide over 600 outdoor patio heaters to local towns and municipalities, helping extend the outdoor eating season. Communication from SupplyRI was excellent and cannot thank them enough for the help.”– Under Cost Media
“Working with Doris Blanchard and the team at SupplyRI has made a big difference in sourcing supplies in a timely and fair manner,” said Federal Hill Commerce Association Executive Director & EGN Consulting President Rick Simone. “Without them I feel we would not have had the level of quick success that we have accomplished.”
“I am very appreciative of the SupplyRI team for providing me with a long list of local providers that offered hand sanitizer of all sizes. The hand sanitizer we were able to procure will be distributed on a campaign to control COVID-19. I can’t thank Doris and Bronte enough for the prompt response and help in choosing two local providers who offered exactly what we were looking for. Thanks again for your assistance. RIPLA, the Rhode Island Latinos Professional Association and myself were very pleased to have partnered with SupplyRI on this endeavor.” – Sylvia Bernal, Treasurer, Rhode Island Latinos Professional Association
Businesses wishing to purchase COVID-19 supplies including PPE, building supplies, cleaning supplies, medical supplies and more from local Rhode Island-based companies can download a list of suppliers here (click to download) or email SupplyRI@CommerceRI.com.
By the Numbers
Anchor of the Month: Care New England
Care New England is working diligently at its various hospitals to keep its patients, staff and the community safe, especially during the pandemic. Care New England’s highest priority is always the health, safety and wellness of all Rhode Islanders.
“SupplyRI has helped Care New England identify opportunities to benefit not only the local community, but also our employees. One such example is connecting with local food producers, allowing opportunities to use fresh local foods in our meal prep and to conduct farmers markets for our employees.” – Steve Silva, Vice President, Care New England Supply Chain
Supplier Spotlight: MOO Inc.
MOO Inc., the digital print and design company known for its unique design and inventive products, is
bringing the first fully recyclable onetime-use face covering to the American market. The MOO masks – printed on cotton paper that’s made entirely out of T-shirt offcuts, a waste product of the garment industry – are being printed at MOO’s Lincoln, Rhode Island printing and manufacturing facility.
“We’re excited to launch a more environmentally friendly product and to help get Rhode Islanders back to work,“ said Nick Ruotolo, COO of MOO. “The MOO mask is a single-use face-covering made from tree-free cotton paper, which makes it a better way to look after your team, your customers AND the planet all at the same time. The cotton paper we use comes from T-shirt offcuts (stuff that’s normally thrown away). And because each mask is made from a single sheet of paper with no glue, elastic, or other material, they’re 100% recyclable.”
Resource Partner of the Month: Social Enterprise Greenshouse
Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG) creates positive social and economic impact by providing social entrepreneurs and enterprises with the tools and networks they need to thrive. We also foster an ecosystem of diverse stakeholders who work to enable a more just, equitable and resilient economy. SEG’s partnership with SupplyRI focuses on bringing a social impact lens to the local procurement opportunities.
“Our partnership with SupplyRI focuses on helping local social enterprises connect to Anchor institutions. These procurement opportunities not only increase the visibility of our social enterprises, but further local job growth and increase their overall positive impact in our communities – bringing the local and social to the forefront of the supply chain.” – Kelly Ramirez, CEO, Social Enterprise Greenhouse
SupplyRI helps connect local suppliers to the needs of larger Rhode Island institutions, our Anchors, through our database, website, trainings and events. The SupplyRI team not only connects local suppliers with our Anchor institutions, but also guides local businesses to better understand the processes and needs of the Anchor institutions. The supplier list gets updated weekly and can be found on our COVID-19 suppliers page or here (click to download).