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This page is frequently updated and features a selection of top requests for information from business owners and employees. If you do not find what you are looking for or have something to share, please contact our office. The East Providence Area Chamber is here to help you and your business.

Local and State News Media


Businesses and Residents

Rhode Island Department of Health has a vast range of current COVID-19 related information on their Web site.

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If you are out of work because of COVID-19, Unemployment Insurance claims are processed faster and can be more generous than TDI/TCI.


File an Unemployment Insurance Claim

Click here for the latest RIDLT Information regarding Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19)

Presentar un reclaimo de UI

COVID-19: Hoja de datos del Lugar De Trabajo

Rhode Island self-employed/independent contractors and gig workers are eligible for unemployment benefits. Details and application here.

Difficulty Processing Unemployment Claim

A new online form is available to help you get answers, if your application or claim has a problem. Click here to reach the RIDLT form.

Emergency Loans and Information from RIC

Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF)

Application portal opened 4/30/21

Applications accepted beginning 5/3/21, 12pm

April 29, 2021 RRF Webinar presented by RI Small Business Administration District Office

Co-hosted by East Providence Area Chamber, Central Rhode Island Chamber and Northern Rhode Island Chamber

Webinar overview here


The Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) is a new program designed to provide funding to help restaurants and eligible businesses keep their doors open. 

Program Details

The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023. Link to SBA site with details and sample application

Who can apply:

Eligible entities who have experienced pandemic-related revenue loss include:

  • Restaurants

  • Food stands, food trucks, food carts

  • Caterers

  • Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns

  • Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars

  • Bakeries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)

  • Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)

  • Breweries and/or microbreweries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)

  • Wineries and distilleries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)

  • Inns (onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)

  • Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products


Cross-program eligibility on SBA COVID-19 relief options

Funds may be used for specific expenses including:

  • Business payroll costs (including sick leave)

  • Payments on any business mortgage obligation

  • Business rent payments (note: this does not include prepayment of rent)

  • Business debt service (both principal and interest; note: this does not include any prepayment of principal or interest)

  • Business utility payments

  • Business maintenance expenses

  • Construction of outdoor seating

  • Business supplies (including protective equipment and cleaning materials)

  • Business food and beverage expenses (including raw materials)

  • Covered supplier costs

  • Business operating expenses




R.I. Small Business Relief Grant Program:  Helping small businesses affected by COVID-19


The Rhode Island Small Business Relief Grant 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 accepted on a first-come, first-served basis now through Friday, April 30, 2021 at 5 PM

On Tuesday, April 13,


Rhode Island Commerce hosted a live webinar on Facebook to learn more about the program and how to apply. To re-watch this webinar, please click here. (The video is also available on YouTube here.) 

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Current information and resources for business owners regarding operating guidelines for Phase III, COVID-19 Control Plan template and more.

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East Providence Business Owners/Employers

City of East Providence Web site featuring COVID-19 related executive orders from Mayor DaSilva, relief loan program for small businesses, contact information for city departments and more.

A limited amount of funds remain for City of East Providence Take It Outside grants for East Providence small businesses. Details and application here. Contact Jim Moran for availability of funds before applying. (401) 435-7531 X11153

COVID-19 Relief Loans for East Providence Businesses

$1K-$5K loans. Application and details here.

Barrington Business Owners/Employers

Town of Barrington Web site featuring COVID-19 related executive orders from Town Manager Cunha and his Daily Updates for businesses and residents, contact information for town departments and more.


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Rhode Island SBA District Office serves Rhode Island and Seekonk & Rehoboth, MA businesses 

Reach out to them for assistance and information about local and federal loan programs available to small businesses. Click here


SBA Extends Deferment Period for all COVID-19 EIDL and Other Disaster Loans until 2022

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced extended deferment periods for all disaster loans, including the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, until 2022.

  • All SBA disaster loans made in calendar year 2020, including COVID-19 EIDL, will have a first payment due date extended from 12-months to 24-months from the date of the note.

  • All SBA disaster loans made in calendar year 2021, including COVID-19 EIDL, will have a first payment due date extended from 12-months to 18-months from the date of the note.


Existing SBA disaster loans approved prior to 2020 in regular servicing status as of March 1, 2020, received an automatic deferment of principal and interest payments through December 31, 2020. This initial deferment period was subsequently extended through March 31, 2021. An additional 12-month deferment of principal and interest payments will be automatically granted to these borrowers. Borrowers will resume their regular payment schedule with the payment immediately preceding March 31, 2022, unless the borrower voluntarily continues to make payments while on deferment. It is important to note that the interest will continue to accrue on the outstanding balance of the loan throughout the duration of the deferment.





3/4/21 Paycheck Protection Progam (PPP) Updates

 The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides loans to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Borrowers may be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness.

In order to reach the smallest businesses, SBA will offer PPP loans to businesses with fewer than 20 employees and sole proprietors only from Wednesday, February 24 through Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 5pm ET.


President Biden has also announced additional program changes to make access to PPP loans more equitable.

1. Find a lender:

2. Identify a loan:

  • First Draw PPP Loans: If you have not received a PPP loan before, First Draw PPP Loans are available to you.

  • Second Draw PPP Loans: If you have previously received a PPP loan, certain businesses are eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan.

SBA also offers additional Coronavirus relief.


The deadline to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program for the COVID-19 Pandemic disaster declaration is extended to Dec. 31, 2021 pending available funds.

Loans are offered at a 3.75% interest rate for small businesses and 2.75% interest rate for nonprofit organizations, a 30-year maturity, and an automatic deferment of one year before monthly payments begin. Every eligible small business and nonprofit is encouraged to apply to get the resources they need.

To apply for an EIDL loan, visit or contact the RI SBA District Office by email at

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