SCORE

Rhode Island Hospitality, Tourism, and Events Grant Program

The RI Rebounds Hospitality, Tourism, and Events Grant Program will provide up to $8 million in direct payments to businesses and organizations that suffered significant negative impacts – generally greater than 35% revenue loss for 2021 as compared to 2019 for purposes of the program – caused by the COVID-19 pandemic

En Español Aquí- https://commerceri.com/ri-rebounds/hospitality-tourism-and-events...

Key dates: The application is available now and will close on Wednesday, April 6th.

The program is divided into 3 distinct funding areas:

  • Restaurants and event professionals
  • Hotels, travel agencies, and tour operators
  • Arts and Culture

Restaurants and Event Professionals

Eligibility. To be eligible, applicants must:

  1. Be a Rhode Island business* or nonprofit operating before January 27, 2020, in one of the following industries:
    • Restaurants, bars, nightclubs, breweries, wineries, distilleries, caterers, food trucks, or other food service providers;
    • Event professionals (at least 50% of total income must be event-related) including but not limited to photographers, videographers, florists, limousine services, event planners, event rentals, performers, convention and trade show organizers, hair and make-up professionals; and
    • Valet service providers.
  2. Have experienced a COVID-related revenue loss in 2021 of at least 35% relative to 2019.
  3. NOT be a nationally or regionally owned chain.
  4. NOT be permanently closed, NOT be in or considering federal bankruptcy or state receivership, and NOT be on the federal do not pay list.
  5. NOT have received funding from the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF).

* Note: If you are a sole proprietorship, your annual business revenue must comprise at least 20% of your total annual earnings.

Award amounts. Grant award amounts for restaurants and event professionals will be up to $12,500. Awards will be calculated as follows:

  • For qualifying recipients of the RI Rebounds Small Business Grant Program: $7,500.
  • For all other qualifying businesses: $12,500.

Hotels, Travel Agencies, and Tour Operators

Eligibility. To be eligible, applicants must:

  1. Be a Rhode Island business* or nonprofit operating before January 27, 2020, in one of the following industries:
    • Hotels (excluding Airbnbs and vacation rentals);
    • Tour operators; or
    • Travel agents.
  2. Have experienced a COVID-related revenue loss in 2021 of at least 35% of 2019 revenues.
  3. Be currently open and operating. NOT be in or considering federal bankruptcy or state receivership and NOT be on the federal do not pay list.
  4. NOT be a publicly traded business/organization or a business/organization that is majority-owned by a publicly traded company.

* Note: If you are a sole proprietorship, your annual business revenue must comprise at least 20% of your total annual earnings.

Award amounts. Grant award amounts will be up to a maximum of $250,000 or the organization’s net financial need, whichever is less, based on criteria which may include number of eligible applications received, level of financial need expressed, industry representation, and employment levels. Although award amounts will be calculated based on the criteria described above, it is anticipated that eligible businesses with fewer than ten employees will receive awards of approximately $12,500.

Arts and Culture

Eligibility. To be eligible, you must:

  1. Be a Rhode Island business* or nonprofit operating before January 27, 2020, in one of the following industries:
    • Arts education organizations (excluding higher education institutions);
    • Arts or cultural venues;
    • Museums; or
    • Performing or visual arts organizations (including dance studios).
  2. Have experienced a COVID-related revenue loss in 2021 of at least 35% compared to 2019.
  3. Spend at least 20% of your operating budget on rent or performance space OR own your facility OR have received the SBA’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant 
  4. NOT be a nationally or regionally owned chain.
  5. NOT be permanently closed, NOT be in or considering federal bankruptcy or state receivership, and NOT be on the federal do not pay list.

* Note: If you are a sole proprietorship, your annual business revenue must comprise at least 20% of your total annual earnings.

Award Amounts. Grant award amounts will be sized based on each organization’s 2021 net need up to a maximum of $250,000 or the organization’s 2021 net need, whichever is less. Actual award amounts will depend on the number of applications received and the level of financial need expressed.

For recent updates, to find an organization to assist you, and to apply for any of these grants, please see the RI Commerce website at: https://commerceri.com/ri-rebounds/hospitality-tourism-and-events-grant-program/

SCORE is not able to provide assistance for this grant program. For assistance, please check the Technical Assistance Partners list on the above website.

Like what you are reading?
Subscribe to Rhode Island SCORE's twice monthly blog posts click here to Subscribe >

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.

SCORE Rhode Island
RI Hospitality