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Rhode Island COVID-19 Resources and Updates – What Businesses Need to Know

As the news surrounding the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, our team at blumshapiro is staying focused on answering the local business community’s most pressing questions. As of Friday, March 27, 2020, here are the latest updates leaders in Rhode Island’s business community need to know.

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As the news surrounding the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, our team at blumshapiro is staying focused on answering the local business community’s most pressing questions. As of Friday, March 27, 2020, here are the latest updates leaders in Rhode Island’s business community need to know.

As the news surrounding the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, our team at blumshapiro is staying focused on answering the local business community’s most pressing questions. As of Friday, March 27, 2020, here are the latest updates leaders in Rhode Island’s business community need to know.

The Latest News

President signs sweeping $2 trillion stimulus package.

On March 27, the House approved, and the President signed, a $2 trillion stimulus package that aims to provide significant support for individuals and businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis. It is known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

This package includes billions of dollars in small business loans; grant programs for healthcare providers; emergency funding for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control; and significant funding to help specific industries like air travel and national security recover from this period of economic instability.

It also includes relief checks for up to $1,200 per individual and $2,400 for married couples.

Rhode Island set to receive $1.25 billion as part of the federal stimulus package

U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the state of Rhode Island is set to receive a total of $1.25 billion as part of the federal stimulus package’s $150 billion state stabilization fund.

We are closely monitoring how this stimulus package will impact Rhode Island businesses and individuals, and we will be posting updates on our website throughout the coming days.

Rhode Island authorized to borrow up to $300 million

On Thursday, March 26, Rhode Island’s Disaster Emergency Funding Board convened in order to authorize Governor Gina Raimondo to borrow up to $300 million to help replenish the state’s coffers during this time of uncertainty.

Reminder: Federal and state tax filing deadlines have been postponed to July 15, 2020

As we mentioned last week, both the federal and state of Rhode Island tax deadlines have been extended to July 15, 2020. This decision was officially announced on Friday, March 20. When making the announcement, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo urged any individuals or businesses who have the ability to file by April 15 to do so.

We encourage any of our clients who have questions about these deadline postponements to contact us as soon as possible.

Available Resources for Rhode Island Businesses

Updates from the Small Business Administration

Last week, the Small Business Administration (SBA) officially approved the state of Rhode Island’s disaster declaration and immediately activated emergency funding in the form of Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Eligible small businesses can qualify for working capital loans of up to $2 million with interest rates as low as 3.75 percent.

This week, the SBA announced it will allow eligible small businesses to defer payments (both interest and principal) on their loans for up to six months. This decision has been positively embraced by many of Rhode Island’s largest lenders.

To learn more about available SBA resources, please refer to the following links:

Resources from the Rhode Island Department of Labor & Training (DLT)

The Rhode Island DLT stands ready to assist with questions about unemployment insurance, paid sick and safe leave, and other resources available through State programs. Learn more about what benefits your business may be eligible for:

Free technological support for Rhode Island businesses

Last week, the state of Rhode Island announced a partnership with Microsoft to offer all Rhode Island businesses free access to Microsoft’s suite of Office365 products. Learn more about this initiative by clicking here.

New this week: Rhode Island is now partnering with several IT companies and experts across the state to offer free technological support to any Rhode Island business who needs it. This support may include helping businesses procure work-from-home software or helping businesses develop a remote work plan while social distancing mandates remain in effect.

This new initiative is being led by Rhode Island Commerce. Learn more by clicking here.

Additional support offered by companies across the country

Countless companies around the world have announced additional policies and programs to support businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Rhode Island Manufacturers Association, Polaris MEP launch Manufacturing Talent Exchange

In an effort to help local manufacturers find the talent they need during the COVID-19 crisis, the Rhode Island Manufacturers Associations and Polaris MEP have partnered with the state’s Department of Labor & Training to create a statewide Manufacturing Talent Exchange.

Manufacturers interested in participating in this program should learn more clicking here.

Polaris MEP, textiles industry launch supply chain capabilities survey

In other manufacturing news, Polaris MEP has also partnered with the Rhode Island Textiles Innovation Network to create a statewide survey that aims to gauge the capabilities of the state’s supply chain to address critical health needs as quickly as possible.

Manufacturers can take this survey by clicking here.

Hospitality Employee Relief Fund

The Rhode Island Hospitality Association has created a fund dedicated to providing financial assistance to its members who are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. Learn more by clicking here.

Plus, in other hospitality industry news, the National Restaurant Association is collecting information on the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. You can take the survey by clicking here.

How you can help

The community-minded response of Rhode Island’s business community has been nothing short of extraordinary. There are plenty of ways to contribute to the statewide effort to navigate this crisis.

Here are few:

Donate to the COVID-19 Response Fund

The Rhode Island Foundation and United Way teamed up at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis to create a dedicated philanthropic fund to support the non-profit organizations on the frontlines of the pandemic.

The fund is currently accepting grant applications. Learn more, donate, or apply by clicking here.

Support 401Gives

Another project led by United Way, 401Gives is a statewide effort to encourage individuals and businesses to support local non-profit organizations. 401Gives’ “statewide Day of Giving” is set for Wednesday, April 1.

You can learn more, and contribute, by clicking here.

Next steps

We will be providing regular updates over the next several weeks as new developments are made available. If you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to reach out. We are here to help you with your tax and business advisory needs.

In the meantime, you can refer to the following agencies and associations for the latest information:

Disclaimer: The contents of this resource are for general informational purposes only. While every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy, the information is provided “as is” and no representations are made that the content is error-free. We have no obligation to update any content, comments or other information for retroactive or prospective interpretations or guidance provided by regulators, financial institutions or others. The information is not intended to constitute legal advice or replace the advice of a qualified professional. There are areas of the CARES Act where additional clarification from the Treasury Department and the SBA is needed. Your judgment and interpretation of the act may be needed. Users should consult with their legal counsel and representatives of the lending institution regarding the proper completion of their application and supporting documentation

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