McKee hopes to give Rhode Islanders gift cards to support small businesses


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Dan McKee says as the economy continues to reopen, his administration is working on a plan to help boost up small businesses and encourage Rhode Islanders to shop local this summer.

In a press briefing Tuesday, McKee told reporters he was working on a plan to distribute $25 gift cards for small businesses to Rhode Islanders sometime in June.

The governor says leftover federal stimulus funds would help to provide anywhere from 40,000 to as many as 100,000 gift cards.

“We would be strategically passing [the gift cards] out throughout the different, all 39 cities and towns in a way that really reopened our small businesses and supported that reopening,” McKee said Tuesday. “So, that’s the strategy that we’re using.”

It’s not clear if every Rhode Islander would get a gift card, if there would be an application process to get one, or which businesses would qualify.

McKee says details are being worked out, but he’d have more to share in Thursday’s COVID-19 briefing.

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