Rhode Island Commerce today announced that over 1,000 Rhode Island small businesses have already received Restore Rhode Island grants totaling nearly $9M. Over $1.5M of the money already dispersed has gone directly to minority owned enterprises.

“We’re pleased that over 1,000 businesses have already received funding through the Restore R.I. grant program,” said Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor in a statement. “We hope that these grants will provide a bit of relief to our small businesses, which have been hit so hard by the pandemic. With plenty of funding still available, the Commerce team is encouraging all small businesses that might be eligible to apply.”

The Restore Rhode Island grant program aims to provide direct support through grants of up to $15,000 to the state’s small businesses for reopening, adaptation, and fixed costs incurred by businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week the Restore Rhode Island grant program re-opened with expanded eligibility and a streamlined application process, including sole proprietors with zero employees as well as businesses up to 50 employees.

To help small businesses complete the application, Rhode Island Commerce will be holding the following Zoom office hours this week:

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Thursday, October 1, 4:00 PM  Registration Here


Friday, October 2, 12:00 PM  Registration Here


Additionally, businesses can contact the Small Business Hotline at (401) 521-HELP at any time for assistance. Commerce has also partnered with several community organizations that can assist businesses with the application process. More information can be found on the Restore Rhode Island webpage here

The Restore Rhode Island grant program was instituted after extensive dialogue with the state’s business community including a May meeting  of the Governor’s Business Restoration Advisory Council which discussed various options for small business relief, a survey posted in May on www.reopeningri.com which asked Rhode Islander’s their priorities for the State’s allocation of CARES Act funding, and consultation with industry associations and representatives of the Black and Latino business community.