INFORMATION & UPDATES FOR BUSINESSES
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.
RHODE ISLAND DEPT OF LABOR & TRAINING (RI DLT)
If you are out of work because of COVID-19, Unemployment Insurance claims are processed faster and can be more generous than TDI/TCI.
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.
Current information and resources (guidelines, signage, executive orders, etc.) for businesses
September 1, 2021
The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), Rhode Island Commerce, and the Department of Business Regulation aim to help businesses make the best choices they can to promote the public health and their economic success. Specifically, they want to make information available to businesses that are considering implementation of the following four public health strategies: vaccination, testing, ventilation, and indoor masking.
Vaccination: Businesses can ask employees and/or customers to be fully vaccinated. Onsite vaccination clinics are available. If your business or organization is interested in holding a clinic, please fill out the COVID-19 Vaccination Community Partner Interest Form.
Testing: Implementing a routine employee testing program (e.g., weekly testing) is a great way to improve your business resilience. An on-site testing program is available to help businesses with this. This program provides businesses with rapid COVID-19 test kits and the training they need to conduct regular testing of employees. If you are interested in participating in the on-site business testing program, email RIDOH.COVID19BizTesting@health.ri.gov.
Ventilation: Increasing ventilation in indoor areas can help reduce the spread of infectious diseases. Visit RIDOH’s ventilation page for information and resources.
Indoor Masking: Businesses also can ask employees and or customers to wear masks while indoors. New signage options to support this can be found at Reopeningri.com/signage-resources.
These mitigation strategies can make a difference. For example, studies indicate that mask wearing can reduce transmission by 70% or 80%.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/ or contact the RI SBA District Office by email at RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov.