Small businesses to get free face masks, cleaning supplies through state program

RHODE ISLAND businesses can receive up to a month's worth of cleaning products and face masks if they submit a COVID-19 response plan about how they plan to reopen. / COURTESY STATE OF RHODE ISLAND.

PROVIDENCE — Small businesses that are trying to reopen can receive a month’s supply of free face masks for their employees and cleaning supplies, as part of a state effort to encourage safe practices to discourage the spread of the new coronavirus.

The program is available to retailers, restaurants, grocery stores, manufacturers and other businesses with 50 or fewer employees.

Gov. Gina M. Raimondo announced the initiative this week. The supplies will be distributed to business representatives through state chambers of commerce and industry associations. The state has 500,000 face masks available for local businesses through the program.

Before receiving the supplies, the businesses must complete a COVID-19 control plan, and file it with the state. Templates for those plans are available at

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Distribution of supplies and vouchers for the sanitizer could begin as soon as Monday, May 18.

Vouchers good for the cleaning supplies will be redeemed by Ocean State Job Lot.

For more information on participating chambers, visit the R.I. Commerce Corp. website at

Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at

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