Updates on Federal economic stimulus


My name is Matt Sheaff and I'm part of the team at Rhode Island Commerce.

I wanted to provide some key updates regarding financial assistance available for small businesses as a result of the Federal economic stimulus. It is important to ACT NOW, as we understand the funding for many of the programs is limited.

1. If you have not filled out the new, streamlined emergency disaster SBA loan application, please do so TODAY by visiting https://covid19relief.sba.gov/. This is the key step to become eligible for the federal Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program which can include an advance of up to $10,000. This is also the first step to apply for Rhode Island bridge loans for microbusinesses and restaurants that were recently announced. Even if you filled out an Economic Disaster Loan application before 3/30, we recommend you fill this out again.

2. Applications are now being accepted for the Paycheck Protection Program. Please contact one of the SBA approved lenders or your bank/credit union, and let them know that you want to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program.

3. The stimulus bill also Expanded Unemployment Benefits for our workers. Individuals with limited work history and self-employed individuals, including gig workers, freelancers, and independent contractors, are all eligible for pandemic unemployment insurance. If you are a gig worker, an independent contractor or self-employed individual please visit here and sign up to be notified when you can file for unemployment benefits.

The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation has also put together FAQ about the emergency disaster loans in the Federal stimulus. You can view that FAQ here. Our website, www.Commerceri.com, is being updated frequently and has links to FAQs and information about additional stimulus items including a social security payroll tax deferral, net operating loss provisions, and more. We will continue updating this site as more information becomes available.

If you have any additional questions or need further assistance please call us at (401) 521-HELP or e-mail us at info@commerceri.com.

Wishing you all the best during this difficult time -


Matthew Sheaff
Director of Communications & Stakeholder Outreach

Rhode Island Commerce

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