State seeks vendors to aid small businesses

PROVIDENCE – R.I. Commerce Corp. is seeking vendors to kick-start a program offering technical assistance to small businesses trying to rebound from pandemic challenges.

Implemented by the skills for Rhode Island’s Future, the first phase of the RI Rebounds Technical Assistance Program is open to professionals who wish to serve as technical assistance vendors, Gov. Daniel J. McKee’s office said on Tuesday. Approved vendors will provide small businesses with technical assistance to help stabilize, strengthen and scale their business.

“Rhode Island’s recovery from COVID-19 has been strong, and now we’re thinking about our future. The Technical Assistance Program will give small businesses the tools they need to come out of these pandemic years more resilient than ever,” McKee said. “I encourage our state’s business service organizations and business community at-large to review the application and consider getting involved.”

Small businesses may receive up to $10,000 in technical assistance services through the program. The maximum allowable amount a vendor can contract is $100,000.

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Small businesses can apply for technical assistance beginning in mid-April, according to the release.

The program is now seeking vendors to support small businesses in the following areas:

  • Accounting and bookkeeping
  • Legal advice and services
  • Marketing, communications, branding and public relations
  • Customer data and user experience analytics
  • Strategic and business planning
  • Human resources and payroll services
  • Information and computer technology
  • Website development support
  • Business funding pitch and grant writing
  • Supply chain and procurement
  • E-commerce

“The Technical Assistance Program is one of the most flexible resources we’ve offered to date. Many of our small-business owners have really been looking for this individually curated support.” said R.I. Commerce Secretary Liz Tanner. “As we solicit vendor applications, we are looking for strong partners to help us meet the unique needs of Rhode Island’s small-business community.”