Tech Support During COVID-19 - Rhode Island Commerce

Tech support during COVID-19

Información en espanol

Need tech help to minimize in-person interactions as a result of coronavirus?

We’re providing free 45-minute tech support sessions for small businesses and sole proprietors via zoom or conference call. If you or your staff needs help setting up work from home technology, online meetings, e-commerce, remote working security or document management, you can now work with volunteer experts from Rhode Island’s leading tech businesses.

Coaches with various specialties are available from 1 to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Sign up for a coaching session with the specialist of your choice at District Hall Providence.

Frequently asked questions

What happens if there are no slots available online?

We are starting a waiting list and will let you know when more slots become available. We will continue adding sessions as we increase our volunteer capacity.

What if I need more help than I can get in 45 minutes?

We understand some small businesses may need even more help than they can get in an initial session. We’ve had a wonderful outpouring of support from the IT industry and may be offering more webinars or extending sessions. As we get started, we want to make sure we can help as many folks as possible and also learn from the initial free sessions.

If I am looking for help purchasing IT equipment, what should I do?

Please fill out our survey online. We are seeking donations and other help to connect small businesses with opportunities to obtain IT equipment they need to work from home.

What should I do if I want to volunteer?

Contact 521-HELP or sign up online on

Resources for remote work

  • Microsoft has agreed to provide their Office 365 E1 program for free for six months to all R.I. employers. That includes web-based Microsoft Office applications, resources to support telecommuting such as meetings and instant messaging, as well as remote file sharing. This offer extends to businesses of all sizes — whether you have one employee or one thousand employees. Learn more.
  • Cisco is offering free WebEx video conferencing and a remote-work adoption toolkit to help guide businesses in their transition to working at home. Learn more.
  • Google is offering free access to their Hangouts Meet, another video conferencing system, for all of their GSuite and GSuite education customers. Learn more.
  • Zoom is lifting the 40-minute meeting limit on their free basic accounts. Learn more.
  • Cox Communications has made their internet service available for businesses to purchase for their remote employees. If you would like to, you can now prepay for Cox internet service in advance on behalf of your employees (25 employees minimum) who are working from home. This can help ensure your employees are able to access the internet while working remotely. More information is available here is here.
  • Verizon, ATT, T-Mobile and Sprint have given their Rhode Island customers access to unlimited data for their smartphones and hotspots at no additional charge to their accounts until May 13. These apply for those with monthly subscriptions and prepaid customers. Contact your mobile provider for more information.

Quick Links

SBA loan information:

Unemployment insurance and employer information:
Department of Labor and Training

Jobs available now:
Job board @ Skills for RI

Public health information:
Department of Health

Business regulations
Department of Business Regulation