As the impact of the Coronavirus swells, we are compiling existing resources and opportunities to help small businesses throughout Greater Newport during this crisis. We also encourage you to visit the state health department website for local information.
We are updating this page frequently so please keep checking back for the latest information.
Microenterprise Stabilization Grant Program
The Rhode Island Office of Housing and Community Development in partnership with local municipalities has launched the microenterprise stabilization grant program. This program is designed to assist small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 and left out of federal stimulus programs to-date. The program will provide grants of up to $5,000 to qualifying microenterprises. Funds may be used for working capital to cover business costs, such as rent, staffing, utilities.
SBA Express Bridge Loans
Businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender can access up to $25,000 quickly. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
Honeycomb Crowdfunded Small Business Relief Loan
To help deliver the working capital that businesses need, Honeycomb is offering 45-day payment free periods, 6-month interest-only periods and reducing our posting, success, and investor fees.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance
Small business owners can apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available following a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.
SBA Disaster Loan
Rhode Island has been issued a disaster declaration from the Small Business Administration. This declaration enables the U.S. SBA to offer low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Disaster Loan FAQ can be found here.
Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
New Business Regulation
Governor Raimondo signed an executive order, effective Saturday April 18th, requiring employees in customer-facing businesses to wear a cloth covering their face. Although not required it is recommended that all workers wear cloth face covers. Businesses are also required to post signs requiring customers to wear face masks. The Department of Business Regulation will do spot checks to ensure businesses are complying.
Utility Service Payment Extension
The RI Public Utilities Commission has directed all electric, gas, water, and wastewater utilities regulated by the Public Utilities Commission to cease certain collections activities, including service terminations for nonpayment. This moratorium extends to May 6 for residential and non-residential customer accounts.
Rhode Island Child Care for Hospitals
The Boys And Girls Club, Greater Providence YMCA, Children’s Workshop, Children’s Friend and Learning Brook will offer on-site care for children of essential workers at some hospitals. The Boys & Girls Club of Newport has 40 child care spots available for critical care workers. Child care will be available from 8:30am-5:30pm. Click here to learn more.
Rhode Island Superior Court Business Recovery Plan
The court will provide supervised protections for Rhode Island businesses so they can remain operational, access new working capital, and pay debts. Through the use of a non-liquidating receivership model the court will keep a business and its assets intact. The court will appoint a receiver to oversee the preparation of an operating plan for businesses in the program until new working capital can be established.
Unemployment, Temporary Disability Insurance & Temporary Caregiver Insurance
For COVID-19 related claims, DLT will waive the seven-day minimum amount of time that claimants must be out of work to qualify for TDI/TCI benefits. For individuals under quarantine, DLT will waive the required medical certification. Gig workers, contract working, business owners, self employed and those who do are not typically eligible can now apply for unemployment benefits. The CARES Act $600 weekly unemployment compensation boost will be made available in the coming days and will be retroactive to the week ending 4.4.20. No need to reapply for this benefit. Questions or Assistance: Call 401-462-2020 or email email@example.com
Health Insurance: HealthSource RI Special Enrollment Period
A special enrollment period (SEP) is now available through April 30th Use “COVID-19” as your reason for an SEP when filling out the online application. Call 1-855-840-4774 for help. Additionally, anyone who has lost their benefits due to unemployment has 60 days to enroll.
Tax Filing & Payment Extension
The federal government is providing 90 additional days to pay income taxes due, up to $1 million in taxes owed. During this deferral period taxpayers will not be subject to interest and penalties. The tax deadline for paying taxes due has been extended from April 15th to July 15, 2020.
Child Care for Employees of Critical Businesses
In partnership with Governor Raimondo and the state of Rhode Island, care.com is offering three months of free, premium access to Rhode Island residents. In addition. Care.com is enabling Rhode Island residents to provide needed child care for critical frontline workers. In many cases, these caregivers are willing to volunteer their time at reduced or no costs.
Free Tech Support
Connect Greater Newport is partnering with CommerceRI to provide free Tech Support to businesses. Greater Newport businesses can sign up by clicking below or reach out directly to Ashley Medeiros.
H.R.6201 — 116th Congress (2019-2020) Families First Coronavirus Response Act
This bill responds to the coronavirus outbreak by providing paid sick leave and free coronavirus testing, expanding food assistance and unemployment benefits, and requiring employers to provide additional protections for health care workers.
Food & Hospitality: Rhode Island Hospitality Association
Food & Beverage Establishment restrictions and Closures Take out, pick up & delivery Guidelines Unemployment for food & hospitality employees
Platform to sell gift cards online
Gannett Media Company launched a nationwide effort to help communities support local small businesses. Users can select local businesses in their community to support by buying gift cards for use at a later time.
Cox is waiving late fees and suspending service termination for customers. Cox is also offering a $19.99 offer for new Starter internet customers with no annual contract or qualifications, as well as, expending the Connect2Compete program.
Offering 30 days of free self-storage at U-Haul-owned and operated facilities to help college students impacted by unforeseen schedule changes at their universities. The free month applies to new customers with college IDs and is a limited-time offer subject to availability.
RESTRICTIONS & CLOSURES.
Business owners should contact the Department of Business Regulation at 401-462-9500 with any questions about restrictions and closures relating to their business.
Critical Business Determination Request:
Click here to submit your business to be evaluated as a critical business.
Visit www.reopeningri.com for up to date information on when you can reopen your business.