We’re All In This Together


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There are a number of resources–on the national level, state level and municipal level–that have been enacted to help small businesses during this time of great need. I receive dozens of messages and emails each day asking what’s out there or do I have more information. Below are links to all the application forms and fact sheets that I’m currently aware of, plus some other resources on unemployment insurance and health.

I am taking all information from official web sites and cannot be responsible for any rule or regulation changes–consult with your accountant, lawyer, loan officer, etc. I can recommend those professionals if you need someone.

Jump down to:


Contact Your Government Representation

The only way these types of aid get passed is by contacting our representatives at all levels of government and making the need to save small businesses, such as our restaurants, a high priority. Here are contact info and search sites for you to find who you should be talking with.

Senator Jack Reed401-528-5200 or 202-224-4642

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse401-453-5294 or 202-224-2921

Find Your Representative
Congressman Jim Langevin401-732-9400 or 202-225-2735
Congressman David Cicilline401-729-5600 or 202-225-4911

Governor Gina Raimondo401-222-2080 / governor@governor.ri.gov

Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello401-222-2466 / rep-mattiello@rilegislature.gov
Senate President Dominick Ruggerio401-222-6655 / sen-ruggerio@rilegislature.gov

Find your Senator and Representative in the RI General Assembly


CARES Act General Overviews

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act

CARES Act: Unemployment Insurance FAQ

Independent Restaurant Coalition COVID-19 Legislative Responses: Impact For Small Business


SBA Coronavirus Pandemic Disaster Loans

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources – overview page with funding options, guidance for businesses and other SBA information

Questions? Contact Mark Hayward, Rhode Island District Director and Regional Administrator for Region I at rhodeisland_do@sba.gov or mark.hayward@sba.gov

SBA Coronavirus Relief Options:

Economic Injury Disaster Loan including EIDL Forgiveness Advance

  • Forgiveness Advance of up to $10,000 in 3 business days
  • 3.75% interest rate for businesses, 2.75% interest rate for non-profits of up to $2,000,000 for up to 30 years
  • Unsecured up to $25,000. No personal guarantee for amounts up to $200,000
  • Up to 1 year payment deferral, interest will accrue
  • Apply here

Paycheck Protection Program

  • U.S. Treasury Information Sheet
  • American Enterprise Institute summary
  • Applied via an SBA-certified bank or credit union – find a lenderthis is important as I’ve heard from owners around the country who’ve said their bank was not entering this program and they had to find a new bank
  • Apply directly for the PPP through the Community Reinvestment Fund and Goldman Sachs
  • I’ve also heard it’s recommended you download and review, if not fill out the sample lender form, though your bank may use a modified version
  • 1% interest rate, borrow up to 250% of average monthly payroll from the past year capped at $100,000 per employee, up to a maximum of $10,000,000, for up to 2 years
  • Up to 6 months deferral, interest will accrue
  • Forgiveness: up to 100% as long as loan proceeds amount spent by the borrower during the 8-week period after the origination date of the loan is used for: payroll costs, interest payment on any mortgage incurred prior to February 15, 2020, payment of rent on any lease in force prior to February 15, 2020, and payment on any utility for which service began before February 15, 2020. Employee and compensation levels must be maintained and payroll cost capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee
  • Any advance amount received under the EIDL Forgiveness Advance will be subtracted from the amount forgiven
  • Analytix Solutions in Woburn, MA has offered, for free, to figure out your maximum PPP forgiveness amount. Fill out their form.

SBA Express Bridge Loans

  • For any business that has an existing banking relationship with an SBA-certified lender
  • Up to $25,000 with an interest rate not to exceed prime + 6.5%, fixed or variable, for a maximum of 7 years

SBA Debt Relief

  • The SBA will pay the principal, interest, and fees of the above loans for six months
  • Debt relief is automatic, but you should check with your lender

Rhode Island Grants and Funding

Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund

Citizens Bank – LISC Small Business Recovery Grant

Rhode Island Commerce Short-term bridge loans for restaurants and microbusinesses

Rhode Island Foundation and United Way of Rhode Island COVID-19 Response Fund Grants


City and Town Grants and Funding

Providence Business Loan Fund

East Providence COVID-19 Job Retention Loan Program

East Providence Small Business Assistance

Pawtucket Business Development Corporation COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program


Rhode Island Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment Compensation in the CARES Act FAQ

Understanding Rhode Island and Federal Paid Leave and Unemployment Insurance

Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training

COVID-19 emergency unemployment insurance benefits for gig economy worker, contract worker, small business owner, worker for hire or self-employed


Worker Relief Funds

Another Round, Another Rally

American Farmland Trust Farmer Relief Fund

National Restaurant Association National Restaurant Employee Relief Fund

One Fair Wage Emergency Fund

Restaurant Strong Fund

Southern Smoke Emergency Relief Program

United States Bartenders’ Guild Emergency Assistance Program


Other Rhode Island Resources

Rhode Island Department of Health COVID-19 page

Rhode Island Superior Court Business Recovery Plan

RI DHS is exploring an expansion of a SNAP Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) via a waiver. See details and complete the RI Food Policy Council form.

RI Food Policy Council Interactive Food Access Maps

Restaurants with Online Ordering and Take Out

Shop Local Food & Drink Businesses Online

Breweries Offering Curbside Can Sales


Other National Resources

Independent Restaurant Coalition

Restaurants Act – Tell Congress: Support Bipartisan Efforts to Improve Relief Efforts and To Provide Additional Funding

Restaurant Opportunities Centers United COVID-19 Resources

Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation Resources for Restaurants and Workers Coping with the COVID-19 Emergency

James Beard Foundation Resources Restaurants and COVID-19

No Kid Hungry Find Free Meals for Kids

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus (COVID-19) page


Mental Health Resources

RI Foundation COVID-19 Behavioral Health Fund Grants

Crisis Text Line – message with a live, trained crisis counselor

Chefs With Issues Facebook Group

Ben’s Friends – food and beverage industry support group offering hope, fellowship, and a path forward to professionals who struggle with substance abuse and addiction

Streaming Service Promotions (if it helps, it helps!)


With thanks to my friend Rick Simone of the Federal Hill Commerce Association and Providence Tourism Council

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