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.
Restore RI Grant Application Portal reopened on August 3, 2020 - Apply ASAP
Restore RI is targeted at small businesses that have been most severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will provide eligible businesses with grants of up to $15,000. Businesses with more than one employee (in addition to the owner) but not more than 20 are eligible for this program. Sole proprietors with at least one employee are also eligible to apply. Note: restaurants and caterers are not subject to the employee cap for purposes of qualification.
Current information and resources for business owners regarding operating guidelines for Phase III, COVID-19 Control Plan template and more.
Supplies for RI Small Businesses
Free PPE and Supplies for RI small businesses from the East Providence Area Chamber office have been depleted. While supplies last, KN95 masks and eyewear may still be available. Visit www.commerceri.com for details. Contact Form for RI Small Business PPE supply (PDF) (Word docx)
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.
Executive Order for East Providence Restaurant Outdoor Dining from Mayor DaSilva. Reopening on May 18, 2020.
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.
July 6, 2020 Phase 3 (Step 1) of Reopening Massachusetts - details here
Rhode Island District Office
Massachusetts District Office
Emergency Loans Now Available for R.I. Small Businesses
The U.S. Small Business Administration approved Governor Raimondo's application for assistance and will offer low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital up to $2 million to Rhode Island small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information, and download applications at: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email email@example.com for more information on SBA disaster assistance. If a paper forms are preferred, they can be accessed here.
If your business has questions regarding SBA loans and access to capital, please call RI Commerce's Small Business Hotline at (401) 521-HELP or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emergency Loans for Massachusetts Small Businesses
Rhode Island SBA district office can also assist Seekonk MA businesses
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Massachusetts small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced. SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, to declare a disaster following a request received from Gov. Charles D. Baker on March 17, 2020.
Free Digital Tools including Video Conferencing for R.I. Businesses
Microsoft has agreed to provide their Office 365 E1 program for free for six months to all R.I. employers.
That includes web-based Microsoft Office applications, resources to support telecommuting such as meetings and instant messaging, as well as remote file sharing. This offer extends to businesses of all sizes — whether you have one employee or one thousand employees. To learn more on how to access these offerings, visit the dedicated webpage here.
Other companies have also made a number of tools available:
Cisco is offering free WebEx video conferencing and a remote-work adoption toolkit to help guide businesses in their transition to working at home.
Google is offering free access to their Hangouts Meet, another video conferencing system, for all of their GSuite and GSuite education customers.
Schools and school districts can contact Zoom and the company will lift their 40-minute meeting limit on their free basic accounts.