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‘They’re the backbone’: Pawtucket mayor asks residents to support small businesses

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Even though this year’s National Small Business Week has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pawtucket Mayor Don Grebien is still encouraging his residents to shop local.

“They’re the backbone – they really are,” Pawtucket Mayor Don Grebien said of the city’s small businesses.

Grebien said the city was able to secure money through the CARES Act to help Pawtucket’s small businesses.

“There was stimulus money that came into the city of Pawtucket, as it did the state, because we’re a direct community,” Grebien said. “We had about $800,000 of new federal dollars that came into us that we were able to shift into a loan program.”

Grebien said the city started the grant process two days after they received the money.

“We’re doing as much as we can and making sure we have enough of dollars visible,” he said.

He said with the economic grants, they’ve been able to help 22 businesses with several other applications pending.

“Our approach here is really pro-business. and trying to make it as easy as we can and as fast as we can,” Grebien said. 

In addition to the loans, the city also held a webinar to understand the challenges businesses are facing and what they need going forward.

“The webinar is really about, ‘What don’t we know? What are you really struggling with?” Grebien said.

Grebien also said the city is working with business owners, adding that they don’t plan to foreclose on their storefronts.

“If they’re behind on their taxes, we’re working with them,” he said.

Any small business in Pawtucket that needs assistance can email businessassistance@pawtucketri.com for guidance.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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