Resources, Funding and Grants
We believe “Innovation is for Everyone” and strive to design pathways that create true access for all. We have curated a list of resources that include funding and grants, amongst other opportunities.
Grants for Small Businesses funded by Verizon
- On Monday, February 8th, LISC will launch the grant application that small businesses can use to apply for a $10,000 grant. Grants will be eligible for small businesses across the U.S., particularly in historically underserved communities hit hard by the pandemic. Eligible expenses for the grant include: paying rent and utilities, meeting payroll, paying outstanding debt to vendors, upgrading technology infrastructure, and other immediate operational costs. To subscribe to learn when the grant goes live, click here.
Citi Trends Grant
- Black entrepreneurs with a confirmed selling history of their products in at least one of the following categories: Apparel, Beauty, Skin Care, Hair Care, Footwear, Home Décor, Bedding, Bath, Technology or Accessories are eligible for this grant. Ten grants of $5000 each will be awarded. (double check and make sure your U.S. state is on their eligible list) Applications close on February 28, 2021. For more information, click here.
2021 New Voices + Barefoot #WeStanForHer Grants
- Grants of $10,000 each to five entrepreneurs will be made to Black women-owned businesses. The grants program also includes complimentary business coaching and mentoring from New Voices Foundationfor each grantee company. Applications close on February 28, 2021. For more information, click here.
Merchant Maverick Opportunity Grant
- This grant is open to for-profit businesses that are majority-owned by a Black woman (cisgender or transgender) or a Black femme-identified individual. The program will award four grants of $10,000 each. Deadline to apply is May 1, 2021. Learn more here.
Bold.org – African-American Entrepreneurs Grant – Female Award
- This grant will be awarded to a female African-American entrepreneur at any education level who is currently building or who aspires to build a new business and is currently enrolled as a student. One reward of $1000 will be made (paid to the student’s college or university). Deadline is February 11, 2021. Learn more here.
Emma Johnson Single Mother Grant
- Every month, Johnson gives out $500 cash to one single mom, no strings attached. The 2021 Kickass Single Mom Stimulus Grant has one goal: Give a hand to single moms struggling with money, health, stress, child care, illness and loneliness. Qualifications are simple: 1. You’re a single mom. 2. You need the money right now. Click here to learn more.
Women Who Tech
- Open to North America-based, women-owned startups in tech that have already raised $50K in seed revenue or that are already generating revenue. The organization awards equity-free grants to women-led tech startups on a rolling basis throughout the year. For each grant period, there is a different theme. For the first grant period of 2021, the theme is Emerging Tech; applicants should be focused on emerging technologies to solve systemic global problems. The first place prize for the Women Who Tech Emerging Tech grant is $15,000, and the second-place awardee will receive $5,000. Deadline is February 19, 2021. More information can be found here.
Chicago Foundation For Women (CFW) – 2021 Spring Primary Cycle Process
- CFW will be accepting applications for program or operating support in any of CFW three issue areas (economic security, freedom from violence, access to health) or grants to specifically address the epidemic of violence against women. Grants will range between $10K-$30K. Organizations must be a 501c3 and in the Chicago area. Applications are due by February 17, 2021. More info can be found here.
Asian Women Giving Circle Grant
- These grants will support Asian American women-led organizations and individual artists in NYC who are using arts and culture to: bring about progressive social transformation, raise awareness and catalyze action around critical issues that affect Asian American women, girls and families, and highlight and promote women’s central role as leaders, creators, developers and managers of these projects. RFP is open to both 501(c)(3) organizations and individual artists. 5-8 project grants will be awarded, contingent on available funding. The maximum grant amount is $15,000. Deadline to apply is March 12, 2021. Learn more here.
Looking for Support but Not Necessarily Funding?
- Here is a list of “21 Accelerators, Incubators, Programs and More for Female Founders”. Lots of great resources on that page!
Rhode Island Small Businesses
The primary source of funding during COVID-19 are the U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). You can learn about those here.
Below are non-SBA funding resources to assist small businesses in the wake of economic challenges presented by the pandemic. Bookmark this page and check back often for updates. Please scroll down to see all programs.
Providence Commercial Corridor Micro-Business Loan Program
Links / Enlaces
Microenterprise (MicroE) Stabilization Grant Program
To determine if your business is in one of the participating towns, please reach out directly for more information on how to apply here.
LISC Small Business Relief Grants
Click here to visit the LISC Site (Local Initiatives Support Corp.) website to learn about Small Business Relief Grants and apply.
Neighborhood Development Fund
The Rhode Island office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and its Neighborhood Development Fund (NDF) is inviting proposals from Rhode Island community based organizations that have the development of affordable housing as a primary line of business to apply for up to $100,000 in funding. Proposals are due by close of business May 14, 2020. Learn more and apply here.
Grants for arts and culture workers
The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts has established an artist relief fund which will award grants of up to $1,000 to help artists, teaching artists, arts administrators and other freelance arts and culture workers. Learn more here.
For businesses in East Providence
If you’re a business in East Providence, the East Providence Economic Development Commission is offering two different loans, each for up to $5,000.
The COVID-19 Job Retention Loan Program is for businesses with fewer than five employees able to show that jobs would have been lost without assistance. View the application here.
The COVID-19 Small Business Assistance loan is available for businesses with fewer than 10 employees. View the application here.
For businesses in Pawtucket
If you’re a business in Pawtucket, the Pawtucket Business Development Corporation is offering low-interest financing. Under the program, businesses with 25 or fewer employees negatively affected by the COVID-19 outbreak are eligible to apply for up to $10,000. Read more about the loan and view the full application here.
For businesses in Providence
If you’re a business in Providence, the Providence Business Loan Fund has announced temporary modifications to its fund to provide access to capital for eligible small businesses and immediate relief for existing borrowers. The modifications include smaller dollar amounts, working capital loans, closing cost caps, adding fees to loan balances, zero interest on loans for up to 12 months, and no payments for 6-12 months. Learn more and apply here.
Restore RI Small Business Grant Program
What is it?
In early August, Rhode Island Commerce officially unveiled the Restore RI Small Business Grant Program, a $50 million initiative designed to support local small businesses that were most severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
The program was expanded in October with increased eligibility and larger potential grant awards. The current individual grant cap is $30,000.
- OVERVIEW: Restore RI Grant Program (Rhode Island Commerce)
- WATCH: Restore RI Small Business Webinar (Rhode Island Commerce)
Since its launch, the Restore RI Small Business Grant Program has distributed funding to more than 1,400 businesses totaling more than $11 million.
The program’s original eligibility requirements limited Restore RI funding to businesses with 10 employees or fewer that can prove they’ve lost significant revenue during the pandemic. However, the initiative has since expanded.
Restore RI grants are now available to:
- Businesses with 50 employees or fewer (including businesses with no employees)
- Sole proprietors
- Non-profit organizations
- Child-care businesses
In order to ensure these funds are received by the most at-risk communities, Restore RI applicants must be able to demonstrate a 30% or higher revenue drop in one month between March and July of 2020, compared to the same month in 2019.
Full eligibility requirements can be found by clicking here.
How can I apply?
Applicants can apply online for Restore RI funding by clicking here. To complete the application, you’ll need to gather some information and documents, including:
- Most recent tax return, ownership information and Business EIN/Tax ID
- Revenue records for one month between March-July 2020, and the same month in 2019
- DUNS number (If you don’t have it, request your DUNS number by clicking here)
- Records of your eligible expenses and information about state or federal funding you’ve already received
- Owner information, including driver’s license and social security number
Rhode Island Commerce has established a website with all the information you need on the Restore RI Small Business Grant Program. Catch up by clicking here.
Take It Outside Initiative
What is it?
Officially unveiled by Governor Gina Raimondo’s Administration in early September, Rhode Island’s Take It Outside initiative is a “statewide effort to encourage and increase outdoor activities for all Rhode Islanders.”
As part of the program, Gov. Raimondo originally set aside $1 million to provide grants to intermediary organizations that present plans to create or enhance outdoor activities in Rhode Island. Due to heavy demand, the Take It Outside budget was increased. So far, more than $6.1 million in funding has been distributed across more than 100 intermediary organizations.
Individual grants are capped at $150,000.
Take It Outside grants are available to:
- Non-profit organizations, chambers of commerce, municipalities, merchant associations, downtown improvement districts, tourism regions, arts & cultural institutions and other intermediaries operating in Rhode Island.
- All applicants must be registered with the Rhode Island Secretary of State, conduct operations within the state of Rhode Island, and have a location that can reasonably accommodate outdoor expansion opportunities.
How can I apply?
Rhode Island Commerce has already announced the list of intermediary organizations that have been awarded Take It Outside funding, which included several Rhode Island cities, towns and municipalities as well as many local chambers of commerce.
Several awardees are now going through the process of creating their own application portals to disburse their share of state funding to local businesses under their respective jurisdictions.
Our best advice: If you own a small business that could use assistance setting up outdoor activities, review the list of intermediary organizations that have received funding by clicking here.
Hotel, Arts & Tourism Grant Program
What is it?
The Rhode Island Hotel Arts & Tourism Grant Program (HArT, for short) was announced in late October with a launch date of November 2. It’s a $20 million competitive grant program that “aims to prevent the closure of arts, culture, hospitality and tourism businesses and institutions while also building resilience to shifts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
- Overview: HArT Recovery Grant Program (Rhode Island Commerce)
Of the $20 million total price tag, $10 million will be earmarked to support what’s known as Engagement, Service and Resiliency (ESR) activities. According to state officials, ESR activities encompass anything designed to “spur economic activity” and increase access to “artistic and tourist-friendly opportunities.” The program’s remaining $10 million will be distributed in the form of direct financial support for eligible organizations.
HArT Recovery Grant Program funding is available to Rhode Island-based businesses, sole proprietors or non-profit organizations operating in the arts, culture, event, entertainment, or hospitality/hotel sectors.
All applicants must:
- Show a year-over-year revenue loss for Q2 and Q3 of at least 30 percent
- Be open for business or have a plan to reopen in the coming months
- Demonstrate documented efforts to reduce costs, secure outside funding or otherwise adjust their business in the wake of the pandemic
- Commit to maintaining or increasing their current employment
Additional industry-specific requirements can be found by clicking here.
How can I apply?
Online applications will be accepted from Monday, November 2 through Monday, November 9. All awarded funds must be spent by December 30, 2020.
Our team at blumshapiro is working every day to provide you with the latest information pertaining to the individual industries in which you operate.
You can find real-time updates within the following links:
- Food & Beverage: Resources >>
- Manufacturing & Distribution: Resources >>
- Non-Profit: Resources >>
- Education: Resources >>
- Government: Resources >>
- Technology, Life Sciences and Clean Energy: Resources >>
- Dealerships: Resources >>
- Real Estate: Resources >>
RI Equity Resources:
NAACP Providence Branch
Federal Funding: City of Boston