Small-business grants extended until Aug. 15

A program that allows small businesses to apply for grants to support technical assistance has been extended until Aug. 15 by the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation.

The Rhode Island Rebounds Technical Assistance Program was launched in May to award maximum grants of $10,000 to eligible businesses for individualized support from vendors to help stabilize, strengthen and scale their operations. Examples of technical assistance include accounting, bookkeeping, legal advice, marketing, public relations, customer data analytics, strategic planning, human resources, payroll services, information technology, website development, grant writing, supply-chain procurement and e-commerce.

Gov. Dan McKee said this program offers small businesses the tools to rebound from the pandemic “stronger than ever before.” The program is being administered by Skills for Rhode Island’s Future.

“As I always say, Rhode Island has momentum,” McKee said. “This program is an excellent resource.”

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, a Jamestown resident who helped secure $4 million in federal coronavirus aid to support small businesses, said this program will “help local entrepreneurs take their ideas to new heights.” The Rhode Island Small Business Hub, which is where business owners can apply, was established using that money.

“This one-stop shop for small businesses will contribute to economic revitalization across the state,” Reed said.

“We need to make sure small businesses have the resources to be resilient to future economic shocks,” added U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse.

Among the eligibility criteria, businesses must have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 with gross receipts or sales below $1 million in 2020 or ’21.

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to small business assistance. Every business operation is unique, and this program allows us to offer business owners the resources that best fit their needs,” said Liz Tanner, Rhode Island’s secretary of commerce. “This type of flexible support will truly help prepare small businesses in our state for the next phase of their growth and enhance their resilience.”