Governor Gina Raimondo and the Rhode Island Department of Health will host a press briefing at 1 pm on Wednesday, November 25 to provide an update on COVID-19 in Rhode Island.

6 pm | Governor Raimondo provided the following follow-up from her press briefing announcements this evening via email

“Deciding to limit and close businesses during our two-week pause was not a decision that I made lightly, but it was necessary to avoid overwhelming our medical system. Rhode Island’s vibrant business community has already been hit incredibly hard by the pandemic, and we value their tremendous contributions to our state. These businesses are owned and staffed by our friends, family, and neighbors, and I’m grateful to them for working together with us to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

And as we approach our pause, our businesses and their employees must have the support they need to make it through. Today, I announced $100 million to support Rhode Islanders and Rhode Island businesses during this pause, and to spur economic growth beyond the pause and into the new year. 
This investment is split into two $50 million categories: support for Rhode Island families and support for our businesses.  

Families: The first $50 million of our investment is going directly into the pockets of Rhode Island families. Every Rhode Islander who receives unemployment insurance benefits during the pause will receive an additional $200 for each of the two weeks. This is true whether you are already receiving benefits or if you file during the pause. There is no additional application – this benefit will be automatically added to your check. The Department of Labor and Training will begin processing these payments as early as December 6.  

Businesses: Another $50 million will go to businesses that will be closed or severely limited during the pause. If you’re a business owner, all you have to do is fill out a simple form attesting that you have been impacted by the pause, and the Division of Taxation will send you a check up to $50,000 to help get you through the pause, based on your past revenue. The application will be available on Friday at and you’ll have two weeks to apply. We’ll start getting money out-the-door on a rolling basis as quickly as possible, even before the application period closes. 
The next two weeks are going to be difficult, but it’s critical that we all take it seriously. I hope the programs we announced today will help Rhode Islanders and Rhode Island businesses make it through this pause. The most important thing any of us can do is to stay home as much as possible for the next two weeks, including tomorrow on Thanksgiving. Together, we can save lives and reopen our economy.
We’re all in this together.”

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.

He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.