A previous version of this story stated Rhode Island had $150 billion available in state funding for small business loans, which has been corrected to say there is $150 billion left in the federal program for the whole country, not just Rhode Island.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — There’s currently roughly $150 billion available from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and incoming Gov. Dan McKee is urging struggling small businesses across Rhode Island to take advantage of the funding.
During an online forum Tuesday, McKee stressed that federal loans available through the Small Business Administration (SBA) can be anywhere between $100,000 and $250,000, and sometimes even more.
“If it is shaped properly, these dollars can be turned into an outright grant,” McKee said. “That means you wouldn’t have to pay the money back.”
Director of the Rhode Island SBA Mark Hayward said right now, businesses with 20 employees or less are being prioritized for the funding.
R.I. Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor also provided an up-to-date list of the banks that are accepting first-time applicants:
- Baycoast Bank
- Berkshire Bank
- Bristol County Savings Bank
- Centreville Bank
- Customers Bank
- Greenwood Credit Union
- Pawtucket Credit Union
- Washington Trust
“They have their own parameters, they have their own guidance, but please approach them if you don’t already have a bank,” Pryor said.
Pryor said Rhode Island Commerce’s website also has a list of technical providers which can walk business owners through the process of applying.
Any businesses that are hiring but unable to find candidates should contact McKee’s office for assistance.
“We have a third-party nonprofit recruiting firm that works with us that would be happy to help anyone that’s in that situation” Matt Weldon, the interim director of the R.I. Department of Labor and Training, said. “I’d love to make that connection.”
Pryor said he plans to host an information session next week for businesses who want to learn more about the loans and application process.