RI opens new grants to small businesses

Gov. Dan McKee announces a $20 million grant program for small businesses struggling to stay afloat in the coronavirus pandemic April 12, 2021 at Executive Cuts barber shop in Providence. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

By Steve Klamkin WPRO News

State officials announced a program offering grants to small businesses struggling to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

Governor Dan McKee Monday returned to a downtown Providence barbershop where last summer he pressed then-Governor Gina Raimondo to release more federal money to small businesses. There, he announced the state will issue $5,000 grants to about 4,000 small businesses utilizing $20 million in federal Cares Act relief money that went unused last year.

“This program, one page, one grant amount,” said Chris Parisi, founder of the Rhode Island Small Business Coalition. “Simplified for the Rhode Island small businesses that are in serious need of relief.”

The grants will be given on a first come first served basis, there’s just a 15-day window to apply, starting Thursday, April 15.

Grants should take about three weeks to process, said RI Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor.