New Small Business Grants, Tax Credits, Loans & More

Looking Beyond PPP

By Jim Mutschler

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) have infused large sums of money to help sustain small businesses through the continuing pandemic. In many cases those programs have helped businesses to remain open. But what are your options if your business has exhausted those funds, or if you are not eligible for them? Here are some alternative opportunities, many of them relatively new.


  • FedEx is giving $230K to small businesses - The application deadline is March 9. FedEx is giving $230K in grants and $22,500 in services through its annual Small Business Grant Contest, open to US companies with less than 100 employees. The top prize is $50,000.
  • Rhode Island’s microenterprise stabilization grant program is designed to assist small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 and left out of federal stimulus programs to-date. The program will provide grants of up to $5,000 to qualifying microenterprises. Funds may be used for working capital to cover business costs such as rent, staffing, and utilities.
  • State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) - STEP grants are intended to offset international business development and related marketing costs for small businesses, including website development and for design of marketing materials. Grant proceeds may be used for specific international business development and marketing costs.
  • The Grantsmanship Center - These state organized pages provide information on the top giving foundations, including Community Foundations, Non-Profit Services, and Government Agencies. Many are targeted for non-profit organizations. Here are the links for MA and RI:

Tax Credits

  • The Employee Retention Credit is a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes equal to 50% of the qualified wages that an eligible employer paid to employees between March 12 and December 31, 2020. Eligible employers can immediately access the credit by reducing employment tax deposits they would be otherwise required to make. Also, if the employer's employment tax deposits are not sufficient to cover the credit, the employer may get an advance payment from the IRS.


  • The Rhode Island Small Business Development Fund is a loan program that provides financial assistance to Rhode Island 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 in size from $10,000 to $1M.
  • The Providence Revolving Fund Commercial Corridor Micro-Business Loan Program offers loans from $500-$5,000 to make renovations/alterations needed for the safe reopening of businesses in accordance with Reopening RI (See guidance at

Other Resources

SCORE volunteers are available to assist you with any of these opportunities. Feel free to reach out to your local SCORE chapter at 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.  

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