Rhode Island Commerce today announced that the Restore Rhode Island grant program expansion will launch tomorrow, Tuesday, September 22. This new round will feature expanded program eligibility, an updated application process with reduced documentation for all applicants, and other new program features. In the seven weeks since the program began receiving applications, nearly 900 Rhode Island small businesses have already received Restore RI grants totaling approximately $8M.

Updated information regarding expanded eligibility and the application process is already available at https://commerceri.com/about-us/restore-ri/. Rhode Island Commerce will also hold a Facebook live tomorrow, September 22 at 10:30AM to explain how to apply. Registration for the live event can be found on the Rhode Island Commerce Facebook page. Businesses can also sign up for Zoom office hours this week to get answers to their questions. Details and registration can be found on www.commerceri.com.

Important note: if you are a business who has already applied for the Restore Rhode Island grant program and was previously deemed ineligible (perhaps because you were a sole proprietor with no additional employees) you will NOT need to reapply for the program. To request your previous application be reactivated, contact Commerce here.

Key Program Changes

  • More businesses are now eligible including sole proprietors and businesses without employees and businesses with up to 50 FTEs
  • Streamlined grant amount calculation process: any eligible business with at least 30% revenue loss in a month March to July may now apply.
  • Fewer documents to upload for all applicants

About the Program

The Restore Rhode Island grant program provides grants to the small businesses in Rhode Island hurt by COVID-19 to offset fixed costs incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic or costs related to reopening or adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants range from $1,500 to $15,000.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the small business community hard and our team is working day and night in order to support more and more small businesses,” said Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor. “We are pleased to be expanding program eligibility this week so we can assist a broader array of small businesses. If you own or operate a small business and want to find out more about this grant program, please join one of our upcoming information or technical assistance sessions.”

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.

The Restore Rhode Island grant program award amounts are calculated based on the information provided by small businesses in their applications. Businesses must demonstrate they have experienced a financial loss and have also incurred (or will incur) expenses due to COVID-19 in order to qualify for an award. Additional eligibility requirements can be seen on the Restore Rhode Island grant page.

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