Elorza announces new small-business grant program using ARPA funds

PROVIDENCE – Mayor Jorge O. Elorza in a press conference on Friday announced the launch of a new city grant program for small businesses using money from the American Rescue Plan Act.

The COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program offers “micro grants” of up to $2,500 to eligible city small businesses to use for bills, operating expenses, or other costs. The $7 million program launch comes three months after the city council approved the funding as part of a larger, $42 million spending plan for a portion of its federal stimulus fund. At that time, six city council members voted against the ARPA spending plan citing lack of detail and public input on how the federal dollars will be used.

A majority of the city’s $160 million in stimulus funds remains up for grabs, with a committee of city officials and residents working on soliciting feedback and making recommendations for how to spend it.

Roughly 2,700 city businesses are eligible to apply for the grants, which will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis until the funds run out. Businesses must have been registered in the city by the end of 2019, be up to date on taxes and licenses and cannot have received more than $5,000 in other city funding, including through tax breaks or other grants. Only businesses with $10,000 to $1 million in tangible assets and fewer than 240 employees can apply.

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More information is available at https://pvdrescueplan.com/.

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

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