Demand for state small-business grants exceeds $20M allocation

MORE THAN 5,000 small businesses sought grants through the state's Small Business Relief Grant Program that closed April 30, which may mean more money is needed to fund all eligible applicants. / COURTESY R.I. COMMERCE CORP.

PROVIDENCE – Demand for the state’s small-business grant program has exceeded the $20 million allocation, though additional money could be made available for eligible applicants, R.I. Commerce Corp. said on Tuesday. 

More than 5,000 small businesses sought funding through the Small Business Relief Grant Program, which closed April 30, R.I. Commerce spokesman Matt Sheaff said on Tuesday. The $25 million in requested funding – based on $5,000-apiece grants – is more than Gov. Daniel J. McKee originally set aside for the program.

McKee said previously he would increase funding, which comes from the aid through The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, if enough eligible businesses applied during the designated two-week period in April.

Exactly how much more will be needed depends on how many applicants are eligible – R.I. Commerce is still reviewing applications, Sheaff said.

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This program targeted businesses with $1 million or less in revenue that saw losses in 2020 compared to the prior year. New businesses were also eligible.

Nancy Lavin is a PBN staff writer. You may reach her at

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