Take it Outside grant program gets nearly $800K boost

R.I. COMMERCE CORP. has approved an increase of funding for the Take it Outside initiative. / COURTESY R.I. COMMERCE CORP.

PROVIDENCE – Despite chilly temperatures, some of Rhode Island’s businesses are still looking to bring their business outdoors.

R.I. Commerce on Tuesday afternoon agreed to increase funding under the Take it Outside initiative from $6.5 million to $7.3 million. The funding comes directly from the state’s slice of CARES Act funds, Congress’ only helping hand to states during the pandemic.

So far, funding under the Take it Outside program has been dispersed to 103 intermediaries to help fund businesses operate outdoors to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Most of the funding went to purchase items such as heat lamps and blankets to encourage outdoor dining at restaurants.

According to Commerce staff, there are 27 intermediaries that previously received funding under the initiative that could be eligible to receive additional funds due to this new boost.

- Advertisement -

“It’s COVID money from the federal government,” said Gov. Gina M. Raimondo during the meeting. “We have to use it by the end of the year. And this is exactly what we think it should be used for.”

When asked by a board member if restaurants that are only doing take out, and not seating them outdoors, will be eligible for these grants, Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor said, “If they have a purpose that is an outside activity… they’re eligible.”

Commerce spokesman Brian Hodge could not immediately be reached to answer questions regarding any potential application or which intermediaries will receive funding.

Alexa Gagosz is a PBN staff writer. Contact her at Gagosz@PBN.com. You may also follow her on Twitter at @AlexaGagosz.

No posts to display