COVID-19
RESOURCES

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.

FUNDING.

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 Loyalty Bonds

A Honeycomb loyalty bond allows you to sell gift cards at a discount right now and gives your customer more reasons to return to your business for years to come.

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.

BUSINESS RESOURCES.

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 dlt.covid19@dlt.ri.gov

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.

Gift it Forward: Supporting Small Businesses

An online resource developed to make it easier for Rhode Islanders to support local small businesses.

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.

BEST PRACTICES.

World Tourism Organization

Tourism and Coronavirus Disease

National Retail Federation

Coronavirus Resources for Retailers

National Council of Nonprofits

The Nonprofit Community Confronts the Coronavirus

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.

Keeping your Environments Safe

Recommendations for workplace, school, home, and commercial

Rhode Island Manufacturers Association

RIMA Manufacturers Pledge and Response

The Global Association for the Attractions Industry

IAAPA Member Resources for Coronavirus (COVID-19)

National Restaurant Association

Coronavirus Information and Resources page

National Association of Realtors®

Coronavirus Guide for Realtors

OSHA

Guidance on Preparing Workplaces

CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to prevent Covid-19

Recommendations to protect yourself and your employees.

Polaris MEP

Manufacturing Workplace Readines Playbook

Society of Professional Journalists

Coronavirus (COVID-19) announcements, information and resources

National Electrical Contractors Association

Coronavirus Resource Center

National Association for Homecare & Hospice

Coronavirus Resources for Home Care & Hospice

Cleaning after Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Case

CDC Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations

Food & Hospitality: Rhode Island Hospitality Association

Food & Beverage Establishment restrictions and Closures Take out, pick up & delivery Guidelines Unemployment for food & hospitality employees

Rhode Island Marine Trades Association

Marine and Boat Industry Guides

CORPORATE RESPONSE.

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.

Banking

Several banks listed in the link below are offering relief to customers affected by Coronavirus.

Enterprise

Reducing the minimum age for renting a car to 18 through May 31 "to make it easier for students to get home to their families" due to the suspension of college courses.

Cox Communications

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.

U-Haul

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.

CVS Health

Will waive charges for home delivery of prescription medications and waive co-pays for telemedicine visits for any reason for the next 90 days.

Cisco Webex

Offering free services and training to support remote workers across the globe.

Communications Companies

Multiple Communications companies are waiving late fees, signing the "Keep Americans Connected Pledge at the request of Federal Communications Commission.

Ford Motor

Offering customers potential delay of payments and also providing new-car buyers the chance to delay their first payment by 90 days.

Verizon

Waiving late fees and suspending service termination.

Outschool

Offering free live online classes for students ages 3-18 affected by public school shutdowns, conducted over video chat.

Grubhub

Temporarily suspending commission fees for independent restaurants.

Microsoft

Microsoft is providing six months of Office 365 tools for free to enable remote collaboration, file sharing and video conferencing.

AVTech

All Room Alert users currently on Base or Personal tiers are being upgraded to the Professional tier at no cost.

T-Mobile

Providing unlimited data to all current customers who have plans with data for the next 60 days. It will also provide additional data to mobile hotspot users.

Zoom

Providing video conferencing tools to K-12 schools for free.

Dropbox

Free business subscriptions for a three-month period to nonprofits and NGOs that are focused on fighting COVID-19.

Varsity Tutors

Free resources to help students and parents cope with school closures.

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.

Reopening RI

Visit www.reopeningri.com for up to date information on when you can reopen your business.