City of Providence allocates $7 million of Rescue Plan funding for small business microgrants
Mayor Jorge O. Elorza, Providence City Council President John Igliozzi (ward 7), Council Finance Chair Jo-Ann Ryan (ward 5), and the Providence City Council today launched the City of Providence’s online COVID-19 Small Business Grant Application, designed to provide microgrants to businesses throughout the City of Providence and support economic recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program will offer grants of $2,500 to over 2,700 qualified businesses using nearly $7 million of federal American Rescue Plan relief dollars.
“Small businesses are the heart of our city here in Providence,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “We know that our small businesses have been hit hard by COVID-19, and that is why we have offered creative solutions to support our business community such as waiving outdoor expansion fees, offering zero interest loans through the Providence Business Loan Fund and providing free parking in business corridors. Today, I am excited to announce a new program using the City’s Rescue Plan dollars to help businesses navigate financial hardship brought on by the pandemic.”
To be eligible for the grant program, businesses must meet the following requirements:
• Have been established and recognized by the City of Providence by December 31, 2019
• Be in good standing with the City of Providence
o Businesses must be up to date on City taxes and all Department of Licensing requirements
• Have received a City tangible tax bill in the range of $558.00-$55,800.00
o This is determined by tangible assets valued between $5,000 and $1 million, not including real estate.
• Not receive funds and any other financial benefits from the City of $5,000 or more to be eligible
o This includes, but is not limited to, Tax Stabilization Agreements or Community Development Block Grants.
• Intend to stay in business for the following 12 months
• Have less than 240 employees
The City of Providence allocated a portion of American Rescue Plan funding in July, prioritizing anti violence investments and the creation of a COVID-19 Small Business Grant program. Funding was finalized by a City Council ordinance and signed into law by Mayor Elorza.
“One of the top priorities of this City Council has been helping our city’s small businesses weather the incredibly challenging impacts of COVID-19,” said City Council President John Igliozzi. “That is why we approved the use of American Rescue Plan Act funds to create a $7 million Small Business Grant Program to give direct grants of up to $2,500 to Providence small businesses still struggling from the negative economic effects of this ongoing pandemic. I am very pleased that the program is now ready to accept applications from our small business community. My colleagues and I on the Council will be working hard to ensure that all of our city’s small businesses are aware of the program and can apply for the grant dollars they need to get through this difficult stretch and emerge even stronger on the other side.”
“Neighborhood coffee shops, restaurants, tailors, bodegas, hardware stores, pet groomers, and barber shops are the cornerstones of our neighborhoods, and many are still feeling the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Councilwoman and Finance Committee Chair Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5). “That is why the City Council has made providing assistance to Providence’s small businesses a priority and why we are pleased to be launching the Providence Small Business Covid Recovery Grant Program here today. This $7 million program, funded through American Rescue Plan resources, will provide eligible Providence small businesses with grants of up to $2,500 to help them through this challenging time. This is a smart investment in our small businesses which are so critical to our neighborhoods and Providence’s economy.”
Business owners who do not have access to a computer or the technological ability to apply on their own are encouraged to reach out to the City’s Office of Economic Opportunity Small Business Coordinator Victor Regino who will be hosting office hours to support business owners with applications. Individuals can call 3-1-1 or email VRegino@providenceri.gov.
Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, with a priority review deadline of November 12, 2021. This program will remain open until all funds have been allocated or until July 1, 2022.
For more information about the Providence Rescue Plan or the COVID-19 Small Business Grant application, visit https://pvdrescueplan.com/apply/.