Chamber Connections BLOG
Chamber Connections BLOG
The Rhode Island Small Business Relief Grant Program is now accepting applications. This program provides grants of up to $5,000 for Rhode Island-based small businesses that have suffered financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis through 5 PM on Friday, April 30, 2021.
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE
For eligibility criteria and to help you prepare to apply, please find additional resources below. Should you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update: Applicants who have received more than $25,000 in grants are now eligible to apply provided they meet all other criteria.
👉 Prepare to Apply Checklist
👉 Frequently Asked Questions
👉 Information on Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
Marshall Building & Remodeling is proud to announce that it has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award (SSA). This award honors service professionals who have maintained exceptional service ratings and reviews on Angie’s List in 2020.
“Despite the enormous challenges facing our service pros throughout 2020, our Angie’s List Super Service Award winners continued to provide exceptional customer service,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “These outstanding businesses have helped homeowners not only maintain their homes, but also evolve them into safe and comfortable spaces that can handle all the mess of life, work, school and entertainment under one roof. Our homeowners’ consistent positive reviews make it clear: these are the best pros in our network.”
Angie’s List Super Service Award 2020 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include maintaining an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade and review period grade. The SSA winners must be in good standing with Angie’s List and undergo additional screening. Service company ratings are updated continually on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in multiple fields ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.
Marshall Building & Remodeling
a: 152 Forbes St
a: Riverside, RI 02915
SBA to Re-Open Paycheck Protection Program to Small Lenders on
Friday, January 15 - All Lenders on Tuesday, January 19The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, will re-open the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan portal to PPP-eligible lenders with $1 billion or less in assets for First and Second Draw applications on Friday, January 15, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. EST.
The portal will fully open on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 to all participating PPP lenders to submit First and Second Draw loan applications to SBA.
Earlier in the week, SBA granted dedicated PPP access to Community Financial Institutions (CFIs) which include Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs), and Microloan Intermediaries as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to reach underserved and minority small businesses.
On Friday, SBA will continue its emphasis on reaching smaller lenders and businesses by opening to approximately 5,000 more lenders, including community banks, credit unions, and farm credit institutions. Moreover, the agency also plans to have dedicated service hours for these smaller lenders after the portal fully re-opens next week.
First Draw PPP Loans are for those borrowers who have not received a PPP loan before August 8, 2020. The first round of the PPP, which ran from March to August 2020, was a historic success helping 5.2 million small businesses keep 51 million American workers employed.
Second Draw PPP Loans are for eligible small businesses with 300 employees or less, that previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will use or have used the full amount only for authorized uses, and that can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020. The maximum amount of a Second Draw PPP loan is $2 million.
PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP) Guidance on Accessing Capital for Minority, Underserved, Veteran and Women-Owned Business Concerns
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is dedicated to helping sustain our nation’s small businesses
and to supporting their tens of millions of employees. During these unprecedented times brought on
by the COVID-19 global pandemic, SBA has worked tirelessly and closely with Congress, with
borrowers, and with lenders of all sizes – including regional and community banks, Farm Credit System
lenders, credit unions, fintechs, community development financial institutions (CDFIs), and minority
depository institutions (MDIs) – to maximize access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP or
Program). SBA is continuing to encourage and support these efforts that have benefitted the smallest
businesses and underserved communities.
The first round of the PPP supported the employment of 51 million American workers and over 80
percent of small business payroll across all 50 states and territories. More than 87 percent of loans
have been for $150,000 or less, with an average loan size of $101,000 – demonstrating the accessibility
of the PPP to even the smallest businesses. PPP loans have been broadly distributed across diverse
areas of the economy, with 27 percent of the funds going to low- and moderate-income communities,
which is in proportion to their percentage of the population. More than 70 percent of PPP loans have
been made to businesses with fewer than 10 employees. Over $80 billion, or 15 percent of the total
PPP loan amount, has been disbursed to small businesses in rural communities. Small businesses in
Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones) have received more than $130 billion in PPP
funding, accounting for more than 25 percent of all PPP loan dollars. In addition, more than 430 CDFIs
and MDIs across the country have made over 221,000 PPP loans for more than $16.4 billion.
Building on the success of the first round of PPP, SBA is continuing to address potential barriers to
access to capital for minority, underserved, veteran, and women-owned business concerns.
In the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act (Economic Aid Act), our
partners in Congress have set aside funds for new and smaller borrowers, for borrowers in low- and
moderate-income communities, and for community and smaller lenders. These set asides include:
• $15 billion across first and second draw PPP loans for lending by community financial
• $15 billion across first and second draw PPP loans for lending by Insured Depository
Institutions, Credit Unions, and Farm Credit System Institutions with consolidated assets of
less than $10 billion;
• $35 billion for new first draw PPP borrowers; and
• $15 billion and $25 billion for first draw and second draw PPP loans, respectively, for borrowers
with a maximum of 10 employees or for loans less than $250,000 to borrowers in low-or
moderate-income neighborhoods. SBA has determined that at least 25 percent of each of those
set-asides will go to each one of the groups: loans to borrowers with a maximum of 10
PAYCHECK PRemployees and loans less than $250,000 to borrowers in low-or moderate-income
To efficiently and effectively implement the Economic Aid Act and to ensure increased access to PPP
for minority, underserved, veteran, and women-owned business concerns, SBA is undertaking the
• Accept PPP loan applications only from community financial institutions for at least the first
two days when the PPP loan portal re-opens;
• Direct Lender Match borrower inquiries to small lenders who can aid traditionally underserved
• Match small businesses through Lender Match with Certified Development Companies (CDCs),
Farm Credit System lenders, microloan intermediaries, and traditional smaller asset size
• Continue setting aside dedicated hours to process and assist our smallest PPP lenders with
their PPP loans;
• Continue to strongly encourage CDFIs and minority-, women-, veteran-, and military-owned
lenders to apply to become PPP lenders. SBA will give full and prompt consideration to these
applications to become PPP lenders consistent with program guidelines, including in cases
where the lender does not meet all of the requirements listed on the updated SBA Form 3507;
• Continue to work with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System on the PPP
Liquidity Facility to enable PPP lenders, including nonbank lenders, to pledge PPP loans to the
Federal Reserve as collateral for Federal Reserve borrowings to enhance lender liquidity and
enable PPP lenders to expand their lending capacity;
• Promote awareness of these policies and procedures via traditional media methods, SBA social
media accounts and guidance to lenders before the formal opening of SBA’s loan systems;
• Continue to work with our federal partners, including the Department of Agriculture, the
Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of
the Currency, the Farm Credit Administration, and the National Credit Union Administration, to
share this guidance with PPP lenders, borrowers, and the broader public;
• Continue to use SBA’s 68 district offices and network of SBA Resource Partners to further create
awareness among the public about these approaches. Minority, underserved, veteran, and
women-owned businesses that encounter difficulties in obtaining a PPP Loan should contact
their local SBA district office for assistance. A link on how to find an office near you can be
found via www.sba.gov/local-assistance.
SBA will continue to engage with all PPP lenders to maximize access to the PPP for all of America’s
eligible small businesses. To accomplish this, SBA continues to call upon its lending partners and asks
that they redouble their efforts to assist eligible borrowers in underserved and disadvantaged
communities, allowing us to further expand economic opportunity. In particular, all PPP lenders are
strongly encouraged to:
• Continue to engage in community outreach and communication through organizations, trade
associations, and individuals that represent and serve underserved communities and minority,
veteran, and women-owned businesses. SBA will continue to lead by example on best
practices for this type of engagement; and
• Continue to fully comply with all applicable Federal, State, local, and other statutory
requirements related to fair lending.
In addition, SBA has added a demographic reporting section on the PPP borrower application. PPP
lenders should encourage borrowers to report the optional information that has been added to better
inform lenders and SBA on the success of our efforts to reach underserved, minority-owned, veteran owned, and women-owned businesses.
While the PPP has been an incredible success, there are still many more opportunities to provide
assistance to businesses who have yet to access these forgivable loans, especially as PPP re-opens for first and second draw loans. These are challenging times for our nation’s small business owners and entrepreneurs, but through our continued outreach and focused approach, we will continue to ensureaccess and opportunity for all those who need assistance.
Rhode Island is a national leader in COVID-19 testing, but we’re always working to improve our testing systems. The demand for testing is at an all-time high and we need to adapt to handle that level of activity. So, over the next few weeks, we’re making nine major changes to our testing system:
We’re always working to build a more comprehensive, faster testing network to ensure all Rhode Islanders can easily get a test and access their results. Please, keep getting tested regularly to protect yourself and your loved ones.
We're all in this together.
P.S.: Information is our greatest weapon in the fight against COVID-19. If you or someone you know wants to sign up to receive these emails, you can use this link.
Seven new measures that will take effect on Sunday. These measures are part of a regional approach in close coordination with Massachusetts and Connecticut. Over the next two weeks, we will be closely monitoring behavioral data to see if this approach is working or if we need to impose additional restrictions.
1. Effective Sunday, a stay-at-home advisory is in effect from 10pm-5am on weeknights, and 10:30pm-5am on Fridays and Saturdays. At that time, unless you’re going to and from work or running essential errands like getting food or going to the pharmacy, you should be in your own home. Not someone else’s home – your home. We know that late-night house parties are a major factor in this second wave. And if you’re at a restaurant or bar until that time, once it closes, drive straight home. We’re not going to take a heavy hand – as always, our approach calls for voluntary compliance. But if we do see big parties at any time of day, and particularly at night, we will break them up and fine you.
2. Also effective Sunday, all restaurants, bars, gyms, recreational facilities (such as casinos, bowling alleys, and museums), and personal services must close at 10pm on weeknights, and 10:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Restaurants can continue to offer takeout and drive-through after that time.
3. We’re lowering the capacity limit for indoor events and venues of assembly to 50%, with a maximum of 125 people. For outdoors, the limit will be 66%, with a maximum of 150 people. This applies to things like performing arts venues, movie theaters, and houses of worship. I’d ask everyone to consider switching to virtual worship for the next few weeks.
4. We’re reducing the limit for catered events to 25 indoors and 75 outdoors. If you already have a wedding planned in the next two weeks, we’re able to consider an exception if you contact the Department of Business Regulation.
5. We’re reducing the capacity limit at malls and big box stores – retailers with more than 30,000 sq. ft. of space – back to the Phase 2 limit of 1 person per 150 sq. ft. Over the last few weeks, we’ve started to see more crowding at these businesses, and we anticipate that will continue to increase as we head into a big shopping season.
6. In addition to working from home when possible, we’re asking businesses to postpone or cancel nonessential work-related travel. We’re also leading by example in this regard and have put a hiatus on work-related travel for state employees.
7. We’re updating our masking guidance to require masks at all times with anyone you don’t live with. That includes anytime you leave your home – including at the gym – and private gatherings if there’s anyone there you don’t live with.
Restaurants and bars will receive between $2,000 and $10,000 based upon how much business they typically do. These businesses will need to attest that they were affected by this early closure, and then they can expect their grant from the Division of Taxation within 30 days. We know these grants might not make up for what has been an extraordinarily difficult time, but we hope it will help as we make another round of temporary sacrifices to stop the second wave.
Relief for restaurants and bars that are subject to early-closing order
Division to issue grants of up to $10,000 to help make up for loss of business
PROVIDENCE — Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo today announced a relief program for
restaurants, bars, and other such businesses that have been ordered to close earlier than usual
because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Using federal Coronavirus Relief Funds, the
Governor authorized the payment of grants to these impacted businesses.
Under the program, the Rhode Island Department of Revenue’s Division of Taxation will provide grants to bars and restaurants adversely impacted by COVID-19.
Each such grant will range from a minimum of $2,000 to a maximum of $10,000.
Governor Raimondo developed the relief program to coincide with her Executive Order that will
mandate early shutdown for bars and restaurants: Effective on Sunday, November 8, 2020, all
restaurants, bars, and certain other facilities must end service at 10:00 p.m. on weeknights and 10:30
p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. (Restaurants may stay open after the new closing hours for take-out
and drive-in only.)
The new provisions involving closing hours will remain in effect for two weeks, she said. They are part of a range of measures aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus and reducing the rising number of coronavirus cases. “We’re not alone. Cases are spiking all over the world,” Governor Raimondo said.
The relief program will be paid for through federal funds that have been made available to the states for pandemic relief. The Division of Taxation will soon post an application form that the affected businesses must complete in order to apply for a grant, and will post other details on its website.
PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE DIVISION OF TAXATION REGARDING THIS PROGRAM. DEVELOPING INFORMATION WILL BE POSTED ON THE DIVISION’S WEBSITE: WWW.TAX.RI.GOV
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans Available in Rhode Island Following Secretary of Agriculture Disaster Declaration for Drought Beginning Sept. 29
Disaster Field Operations Center East
Release Date: Oct. 22, 2020 Contact: Michael Lampton (404) 331-0333
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans Available in Rhode Island Following Secretary of
Agriculture Disaster Declaration for Drought Beginning Sept. 29
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced today that Economic Injury Disaster
Loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in
aquaculture, and private nonprofit organizations in Providence County in Rhode Island as a result of
drought that began on Sept. 29, 2020.
“This county is eligible because it is contiguous to one or more primary counties in Massachusetts. The Small Business Administration recognizes that disasters do not usually stop at county or state lines. For that reason, counties adjacent to primary counties named in the declaration are included,” said Michael Lampton, acting director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East.
Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farmrelated and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster.
Except for aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers,
farmers and ranchers. Nurseries are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans for losses
caused by drought conditions.
The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 3 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations of all sizes, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts
and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. These working
capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at
DisasterLoan.sba.gov and should apply under SBA declaration # 16733, not for the COVID-19 incident.
Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer
Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Loan applications can be downloaded from sba.gov/disaster.
Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and
Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
Submit completed loan applications to SBA no later than June 15, 2021.
SIMPLE TIPS ON HOW TO SHARE SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS AND DRIVE TRAFFIC TO YOUR BUSINESS!
The East Bay Chamber is here to help promote your business. EVERYONE is in the business of MARKETING. To leverage the marketing we provide, you must do your part too - and that is to SHARE, COMMENT and TAG. It's easy!
This is how you get views and climb the ranks on Google, Facebook and Instagram.
Here is a "cheat sheet" from the Chamber:
1) Follow The East Bay Chamber of Commerce on Facebook and Instagram! When you see a post from the Chamber, LOVE and COMMENT - this helps the post be seen by a wider audience. (eg "Thanks for supporting us!" "Come check out our new specials", etc)
2) SHARE to your page and comment to your followers (eg "So excited to be a part of #FirstThursdays in the #EastBayRI! Support the #EastBayChamberRI and #ShopLocal . Then TAG your biggest supporters. They can then help you spread the word on their pages! ) To tag them, hit "@" followed by their name/business name.
3) Don't forget to Hashtag #! Why? The hashtag is how you are discovered thru searches. Imagine you are searching for something... what phrases would you use to search? (#eastbayrestaurants #warrenplumbers #Bristolcoffeeshops #EastBayEventsRI) How do you want your business to be found? Remember to "geo-tag" ie. #warrenRI #barringtonri #bristolri
Please use #threetownsonecommunity #Eastbaychamberri #EastBayFirstThursdaysRI #shoplocalRI and TAG @eastbaychamberri
Reach out to us for help - we want to support YOU.