COVID-19 Resources for Social Entrepreneurs

Here is a list of resources for small businesses and organizations that may be useful to SEG’s social enterprise community during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will update it as resources expand, so check back often!

Assistance to businesses and organizations
› General information about COVID-19

For general information about COVID-19, please visit the CDC or the Rhode island Department of Health

› RI Commerce resources during COVID-19 (English/Español)

Go to the Commerce RI page for information on disaster loans, tech support, business guidelines, emergency grants and funding, relief for employees, and many more crucial resources for RI businesses.

› Tech support from RI Commerce

Need help setting up work-from-home technology? Get free expert advice. RI Commerce is providing 45-minute tech support sessions for small businesses and sole proprietors via zoom or conference call. 

› Legal help

Providence-based Howell Legal is reaching out to local entrepreneurs to offer legal expertise and connections to resources. If you contact them, mention SEG!

› Disaster Loan Assistance

Rhode Island businesses can apply to the Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Assistance program. Contact the RI District Office of the SBA here.

› Paycheck Protection Program

The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to help small businesses with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors, and self-employed persons) and private nonprofit organizations keep their workers on the payroll. The SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3, 2020. The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.

› Salesforce Care Small Business Grants

As part of Salesforce’s commitment to small businesses and giving back to the community, Salesforce is partnering with Ureeka to offer eligible small businesses the opportunity to receive a $10,000 grant to help them through the COVID-19 outbreak. Applications open for Rhode Island on April 24 and close May 1 at 11:59 PM.

› Behavioral Health Fund Grants

Nonprofits working to help Rhode Islanders with behavioral health needs caused by the coronavirus pandemic can apply for a Behavioral Health Fund Grant from the Rhode Island Foundation. Deadlines are April 17 and May 15. Nonprofits awarded a grant will receive between $25,000 and $250,000.

› Facebook para empresarios latinos

Rhode Island Small Business Development Center: El SBDC de Rhode Island ha creado un grupo de Facebook para empresarios latinos que incluye información y recursos sobre COVID-19 para propietarios de pequeñas empresas.

› Grants for nonprofits

The Rhode Island Foundation and United Way of Rhode Island have established a COVID-19 Response Fund to provide grants to RI nonprofit organizations. Go to the link to see the application process.

› Rapid Response grants

The New England Grassroots Environment Fund is making their Rapid Response Seed Grant program available to grassroots groups responding to local needs and building resilience in their community in response to the COVID19 pandemic.

› Rhode Island Artist Relief Fund

In partnership with Providence Art Culture Tourism and the Rhode Island Foundation, RISCA has created the Rhode Island Artist Relief Fund. The fund will award grants of up to $1,000 to help artists, teaching artists, arts administrators and other freelance arts and culture workers stay housed, fed, and safe in this time. The fund will be managed by RISCA and administered by the Alliance of Artists Communities. Apply by April 15!

› Rhode Island Food Policy Council resources

In response to the spread of COVID-19, the Rhode Island Food Policy Council is aggregating extensive information on available food access and food business resources and opportunities. It covers food access, the food business sector, resources for consumers, info for agriculture and fisheries operations, and general food systems resources.

› Food and beverage relief fund

James Beard Foundation started a Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund to provide micro-grants to independent food and beverage small businesses in need.

› Facebook Small Business grants

The Facebook Small Business Grant Program is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where they operate.

› RI Superior Court Business Recovery Plan

Presiding Justice Alice B. Gibney has announced the start of a business protection program, the Business Recovery Plan, in response to disruptions caused by COVID-19. The court will provide supervised protections for Rhode Island businesses so they can remain operational, access new working capital, and pay debts. Learn more here.

Pawtucket emergency small-business loan program

The Pawtucket Business Development Corp. has created a new emergency loan program for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is open to Pawtucket-based businesses with 25 or fewer employees that can demonstrate a loss due to COVID-19. The loan may be used to pay for day-to-day operations, including payroll and rent. The emergency loans can be up to $10,000 each and carry a 2% interest rate. Monthly payments will be deferred for one year and the recipient will have two years to repay the loan once repayment begins.

› Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund

The Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund is offering grants to help small businesses fill urgent financial gaps until they can resume normal operations or until other more permanent financing becomes available. Application deadline for the 1st round of grants is April 4, 11:59 ET. Deadline for 2nd round of grants is April 17.

› Eastern Bank Small Business Impact Loan Fund

Part of Eastern Bank’s response to COVID-19 is a Small Business Impact Loan Fund that will provide $5 million in lending to small businesses who are existing customers in need of working capital to help fund their operations. Terms are flexible, and customers can borrow up to $25,000. Learn more here.

› Grants for minority and women owned businesses

Designer of Pyer Moss, Kerby Jean-Reymond, has set aside $50,000 for “minority and women-owned small creative businesses who are currently in distress.” Learn more here.

› MainVest loans for restaurants and other brick + mortars

Beyond its normal fundraising offerings, crowdfunding platform MainVest has launched a $2,000, zero-interest, 120-day loan for restaurants or other brick and mortars affected by COVID-19. Learn more here.

General assistance
› Guide for older adults

The Rhode Island Office of Healthy Aging has published this handy resource guide for older adults.

› RI Delivers

A list of delivery services available to Rhode Islanders, hosted by the RI Office of Health Aging.

› Applying for unemployment

Out of work in RI due to COVID-19? Here’s what you’re eligible for. A useful guide from WPRI news about applying for unemployment or temporary disability benefits.  

› Food access (English/Español)

The city of Providence shared this list of organizations that are making sure all Rhode Islanders have access to the food they need while preventing the spread of COVID-19. 

› Internet access

Internet connectivity: the Cox Connect2Compete program is helping families in need get connected to the internet through its Cox COVID-19 Response. Apply by May 15.

› Free meals for children

Due to the closure of schools, free “Grab and Go” meals are available for children throughout Rhode Island. The RI Department of Health has a list of free food sites for children.

View members Join the List