Grants of Up to $10,000 to Bring Economic Relief to Providence-Based Small Businesses
October 19, 2020
PROVIDENCE, R.I.— Mayor Jorge O. Elorza today joined Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Rhode Island Executive Director Jeanne Cola to announce a new grant opportunity for Providence-based microbusinesses adversely impacted by COVID-19. The microenterprise (MicroE) grant program will support approximately 23 low-to-moderate income entrepreneurs and business owners in Providence with grants of up to $10,000. The City of Providence Division of Housing & Community Development made this award through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
“Small businesses, especially microbusinesses, are the backbone of Providence’s economy,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “This program will provide much-needed relief to our neighborhoods and ensure businesses have access to the resources and financial supports to ride out the current economic storm.”
The economic impact of COVID-19 has drastically affected individuals, families and businesses in the City of Providence. To assist businesses that are typically ineligible for funding through federal and other financing programs, this one-time microenterprise program will ensure that Providence’s smallest and most-adversely impacted business owners have access to financial relief. By targeting these enterprises, qualified businesses will have immediate access to working capital for business expenses such as rent, staffing, utilities, and retail location modifications.
“This grant program is designed to deliver critical funding to those ‘mom and pop’ shops that are part of the tapestry of a community,” said Jeanne Cola, Executive Director of LISC Rhode Island. “These are the businesses that have been left out of some of the broader federal stimulus programs but they are critical to maintaining a neighborhood vitality. We’re grateful for the opportunity to target these micro-businesses.”
Since the public crisis began, the City of Providence has remained committed to providing relief to the local small business community. In April, the City announced a series of resources to help businesses, including $1.5 million dollars in funding available through the Providence Businesses Loan Fund (PBLF). Last month, Mayor Jorge O. Elorza announced PBLF received an additional $836,000 from the Economic Development Administration through the CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant program to administer emergency loans. The MicroE grant program is another essential step towards Providence’s post-pandemic economic recovery.
Grant applications will be available on Thursday, October 29 at 9 a.m. EST. at http://rilisc.org/microenterprise-grants-pvd. Complete applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis by the LISC Rhode Island team. To address frequently asked questions before the application opens—including full eligibility requirements—the City of Providence and LISC Rhode Island will co-host a virtual informational session on Thursday, October 22 at 5:00 PM. Potential applicants are encouraged to participate in the Webinar here. A recording of the session will be made available for residents unable to attend the scheduled session.