SCORE

Now Available: A Multitude of Small Business Grants, Tax Credits, Loans and More

Bolstered by the recently passed American Rescue Plan Act, a wide range of new programs are now available including many specialized funds and grant programs for restaurants, child care centers, renters, landlords, farmers, and entertainment venues. Even if you have taken advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), here are some potential funding opportunities.

Grants

  • RI Child Care Stabilization Fund: This federally-funded grant supports the child care system and especially child care providers. Grants are up to $50,000. Round 1 Childcare Centers applications will be accepted until May 7, 2021. The second round is expected to begin in early July. The Department of Human Services has reached out to licensed providers, or you can contact them for more information at http://www.dhs.ri.gov/  In Massachusetts go to: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/30-million-in-workforce-facilities-grants-for-early-education-care-critical-infrastructure  

     
  • Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG): Eligible entities for this program include live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, museum operators, motion picture theatre operators, and talent representatives. Additionally, these types of entities owned by state or local governments (such as museums or historic homes) are eligible to apply if the governmentally-owned entity also acts solely as a venue operator and does not also include other types of entities. The maximum grant amount is $10 million. For information and to apply, go to https://www.svograntportal.sba.gov/s/
  • Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG): This USDA program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and marketing of new products. The goals are to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities and increase producer income. The maximum Planning Grants are $75,000 and Working Capital Grants are $250,000. The next deadline is April 29. Go to https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/value-added-producer-grants/ri?pid=

     
  • RI Rental Relief: RI Housing has opened a new grant program for renters and landlords which will provide rental and utility relief payments to help eligible renters maintain housing stability. Go to this site for more information: https://www.rihousing.com/rentreliefri/

     
  • Commerce RI Small Business Relief Grant Program:  This Program provides grants of $5,000 for Rhode Island small businesses that have suffered financially due to COVID-19. Grant funds may be used to pay for:
    • Wages and/or salaries of employees to avoid furloughs or layoffs;
    • Operational costs incurred to enable the business to remain open through the state of emergency; or 
    • Facilitating the reopening of the business if the business was unable to remain open for a portion of the state of emergency.

Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until Friday, April 30, 2021 at https://commerceri.com/ReliefGrant/

Tax Credits

Loans

  • The Rhode Island Small Business Development Fund Program is a loan program that aims to provide financial assistance to RI small businesses to retain and create jobs in the state. The program’s primary focus is to provide financial assistance to businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Loans range from $10,000 to $1 million. https://enhancedcapital.com/rhode-island/
  • Commerce RI Small Business Assistance Program: This program helps entrepreneurs and small businesses that are having difficulty obtaining adequate credit from traditional lending organizations. The program focuses on women and minority-owned enterprises, as well as those in Rhode Island’s underserved communities. https://commerceri.com/financing/
  • Commerce RI Small Business Loan Fund (SBLF) helps level the playing field and aims to fill the gap in financing that small and mid-sized businesses face. If your small business needs a direct, fully secured loan, the SBLF provides up to $500,000 for working capital to existing manufacturing, processing, and selected service businesses https://commerceri.com/financing/
  • New Bedford SourceLink offers funding assistance to South Coast Massachusetts small businesses including startup assistance, funding sources, loan guidance, a resource navigator, and an events calendar.   For more information go to https://newbedfordsourcelink.com/get-funding/#
  • SBA funding programs- For the various disaster relief and other funding programs, including Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), check their website: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs

Other

  • Farmer’s debt relief is available to socially disadvantaged producers who have a qualifying loan with FSA. The USDA will pay up to 120% of the loan balance as of January 1, 2021.  Go to https://www.farmers.gov/americanrescueplan
  • National Endowment for the Arts has funding to support organizations and jobs in the arts sector that have been impacted by the pandemic. A portion of this will be distributed through regional and state arts agencies. For the latest update go to https://www.arts.gov/COVID-19/the-american-rescue-plan

     
  • Tech Support & Resources - Many businesses are struggling to transform their technology to continue operating during the suppression phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Commerce RI has partnered with Rhode Island tech leaders to offer free coaching sessions to make this transformation easier. This site provides resource links as well https://commerceri.com/tech-support-covid-19-copy/
  • Commerce RI Programs: Other available programs may be added or change over time. Check their website for the latest information about grant, loan and other support opportunities at  https://commerceri.com/

Educational Resources

SCORE volunteers are available to assist you with your small business or entrepreneurial startup funding needs. Feel free to reach out to your local SCORE chapter at www.score.org or call 401-226-0077.

For more than 50 years, SCORE has helped more than 11 million aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners through mentoring and business workshops. More than 11,000 volunteer business mentors in more than 300 chapters serve their communities.  

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About the Author(s)

 Jim  Mutschler

Jim Mutschler is a RI SCORE Small Business Mentor, recently retired from regional and national operations management roles for a Fortune 100 company, with decades of service to non-profit and community organizations.

American Rescue Act Small Business