Grants Open Today For City of Providence Microenterprise Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

Grants of Up to $10,000 to Bring Economic Relief to Providence-Based Small Businesses

October 29, 2020 — The new grant platform will open today, Thursday, October 29 at 9 a.m. to provide Providence-based microbusinesses adversely impacted by COVID-19 with the support they need to maintain their businesses. The microenterprise (Micro-E) 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. “The grant program will provide much-needed relief to our smallest businesses to ensure they have 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 Cola. “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 Micro-E grant program is another essential step towards Providence’s post-pandemic economic recovery.

Pre-screening Questionnaire is available in English.

Pre-screening Questionnaire is available in Spanish.

Grant applications will be available on Thursday, October 29 for applicants completing the pre-screening questionnaire.

Complete applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis by the LISC Rhode Island team.

Link to Q/A PowerPoint: Micro-E Info Session_October 2020 FINAL

Katherine Hypolite, Director of Communications, Planning & Development

Liz Klinkenberg
Communications Director, LISC RI