State bridge loan fund hits 500 applications, could soon be out of money

PROVIDENCE – A state bridge loan program aimed at helping restaurants and micro businesses stay afloat could have more applications in than money available.

The $2 million loan fund jointly funded by R.I. Commerce Corp. and Bank Newport and administered via the Local Support Initiatives Corporation Rhode Island had received more than 500 applications as of Friday, according to CommerceRI spokesman Matt Sheaff.

Of those, 183 applicants have received loans with plans to deposit into the accounts of another 90 more in the coming days. The program offers up to $5,000 in zero-interest loans to eligible businesses awaiting federal funding through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. 

The exact amount of loan funds requested and those approved was not available, but most applicants are seeking the maximum $5,000 amount, Sheaff said.

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Assuming a $5,000 request per application, the 183 loans approved would translate to $915,000, leaving a little over half of the original investment still available. The 500 applications submitted could equal up to $2.5 million – $500,000 over the total allocation.

LISC was still accepting applications as of Friday morning, according to its website.

Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-serve basis, Sheaff said.

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