Providence, R.I. (December 10, 2020) — Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG) has forged supplier partnerships with office retailer Staples as well as with technology device makers to bring free laptops, printers and other work-from-home technology tools to the state’s small businesses, social enterprises and nonprofits as they struggle through the pandemic-inflicted economy. The program is funded by a CARES Act grant provided and coordinated by the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation’s Remote Work program.
Applications are currently being accepted here and all program grants will be made before the end of the year, in an effort to get work-from-home assistance to enterprises quickly. Priority will be given to businesses and organizations that align with and further SEG’s mission of supporting diverse businesses and nonprofits who work to enable a more just, equitable and resilient economy.
“As we see from the COVID numbers, working from home is effective. But most Rhode Island small business owners and social service providers – especially those in historically excluded communities – don’t have the resources to enable their employees to do this,” said Kelly Ramirez, SEG’s chief executive officer. “Commerce’s Remote Work program is designed to address that – and we’re grateful for the collaboration of Staples and other tech suppliers, who have mobilized to deliver the products at big discounts and to help us distribute them quickly and effectively.”
The program provides free laptops, noise-cancelling headsets, printers, routers and WiFi hotspots – as well as limited tech service plans – to qualified businesses and organizations. To qualify, businesses and nonprofits must have two or more employees and must demonstrate that the grant will enable their employees to perform at least 80% of their work from home.
“Staples is humbled to be able to work with Social Enterprise Greenhouse and Rhode Island Commerce to support RI businesses by providing the necessary technology and equipment to effectively work from home,” said Michael Hurwitz, VP, GMM, Merchandising, Staples US Retail. “Small businesses make up one of Staples’ most important customer segments and we know what a difficult year they have had due to the pandemic. Transferring from an office to your home is not an easy task for small business owners or their employees but with the proper technology we hope to support more productivity, creativity, and ultimately successful businesses.”
Interested organizations can apply directly here.
About Social Enterprise Greenhouse
Social Enterprise Greenhouse creates positive social and economic impact by providing social entrepreneurs and enterprises with the tools and networks they need to thrive. We also foster an ecosystem of diverse stakeholders who work to enable a more just, equitable and resilient economy. SEG operates statewide in Rhode Island from three programming sites in Providence, Newport, and Pawtucket/Central Falls. Our network of 600+ enterprises and 250+ business and community leaders contributes time, expertise, and funding to grow Rhode Island’s social impact ecosystem. To learn more, visit www.segreenhouse.org.
About Staples US Retail
Staples US Retail supports lifelong achievement for small businesses and consumers with the products and resources they need for continued professional and personal growth. With a focus on community working and learning, Staples retail locations serve millions of customers from entrepreneurs and small businesses to parents, teachers and students. For more information about Staples US Retail please visit StaplesConnect.com, and to stay up to date on weekly deals, please visit us in store or online at staples.com®.