PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island Commerce announced it will be allocating $650,000 to partner lenders through the Small Business Assistance Program.

The program provides loans to businesses with fewer than 200 employees that are having difficulty obtaining funds through other means.

The lenders and micro-lenders receiving new funds for the fiscal year 2023 include:

  • Business Development Co of RI (BDCRI)
  • Southeastern Economic Development Corp (SEED)
  • Community Investment Corporation (CIC)
  • Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG)
  • Community Investment Corporation (CIC)
  • Rhode Island Black Business Association (RIBBA)

State officials said the program, which launched in 2016, prioritizes women and minority-owned businesses.

“Rhode Island’s small businesses have long served as the backbone of our statewide economy,” Gov. Dan McKee said in a news release. “This program provides critical financing to small businesses that would not otherwise be able to access capital, helping to address one of the greatest needs that we hear from the small business owners of this state.”

To learn more about the program and apply for a loan, visit Commerce RI’s website.