McKee, state officials tour Wakefield to promote business | News

McKee, state officials tour Wakefield to promote business | News

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee, Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor and Consultant Carol Hagan McEntee, Chairperson of the Home of Representatives Smaller Business enterprise Committee, joined Joe Viele, the executive director of the Southern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce, in a whirlwind tour of Wakefield businesses on Friday, Feb. 11. Their aim was to market recognition of the $12.5 million Rhode Island Rebounds Smaller Business enterprise Grant Software. 

Beneath the application, which McKee initiated January 31, modest organizations who meet sure requirements and eligibility requirements could receive possibly $2,500 or $5,000 “in immediate aid to tiny corporations impacted by COVID-19,” according to the Rhode Island Commerce website ( 

“Small firms continue to facial area difficulties as they perform to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” McKee stated in a assertion. “Tourism and hospitality enterprises, as nicely as retail and personal service enterprises that depend on foot traffic, go on to deal with hardships. These grants from my Administration’s Rhode Island Rebounds software will deliver immediate aid to these firms, and I thank the Standard Assembly for approving and funding this program.”

On the very same working day McKee formally finished his indoor mask-wearing mandate that he imposed by government purchase in December 2021, he and his entourage commenced their professional district tour with a stop at Pier Cleaners, exactly where proprietor Larry Fisher ushered them all around his facility.  McKee also stopped at Paul Masse Chevrolet, South County Bread Corporation, and All That Issues Yoga and Wellness.  “It was a promotional pay a visit to to enable those people firms know the grant is offered,” Viele stated.

Fish, chairman of the South Kingstown Economic Progress Committee, explained he and his spouse utilized for the $5,000 grant for his Ragtime Cleansing institution.  “I am in favor of something that can support small organizations,” Fish reported.

According to the Rhode Island Commerce web site, to be eligible for a grant, corporations will have to be able to present a COVID-related profits decline, make $1 million or less, and meet other criteria.   McKee claimed Fish’s Ragtime Cleaning is a person of roughly 2,600 compact organizations that have utilized for the grants consequently considerably. McKee claimed they would be going to other cities in the point out to advertise the Rhode Island Rebounds software. 

“We’re branching out throughout the whole point out.  We’ve been to all 39 cities and cities.” McKee claimed.  “The revenue could be exhausted by Tuesday’s deadline.  “We’ve experienced a really healthier response so significantly. We’re striving to allocate adequate income to have a positive affect.”  The grants are two-tiered. Just one is for $5,000 the other is for $2,500. The initial software period for a grant ended Tuesday, February 15, but the program may possibly reopen if resources stay.

The governor and his entourage amazed Keri Lyn Collins, proprietor of South County Bread Company when they walked into her establishment at 333 Key St.  Collins was on her way to an appointment but found time to notify McKee that her working experience as a organization operator in Wakefield has been “bittersweet.”  South County Bread Corporation opened in May well, 2021 in the midst of the pandemic.  “We’ve been pretty lucky,” Collins mentioned. “We’ve experienced unbelievable assistance from the neighborhood, but it is heartbreaking to see some of our neighbors likely out of organization.”

Pryor explained that the Rhode Island grants program is in its third phase, all designed to rejuvenate modest enterprises across the state that experienced money losses thanks to COVID-19.  Funded by the American Rescue Program Act, the to start with period was titled “Restore,” the next “Relief,” and the current 3rd system “Rebounds,” which debuted on the very first of February.

According to Pryor, the program has been remarkably prosperous. “Rhode Island has professional 1 of the strongest recoveries in the state and is primary the Northeast for our economic recovery, according to Moody’s Analytics Back-to-Regular Index, and we have been for several months,” Pryor claimed.  “However, as is genuine across the nation, it’s an uneven restoration.  Compact corporations, in particular people in hospitality or in destinations these kinds of as downtown in which companies are dependent on foot website traffic, carry on to put up with. Therefore, we believed it was vital to provide one more round of reduction grants to enable tiny businesses make it to the other stop of the pandemic.”

“We are main the Northeast in reopening the economy, and it has a lot to do with the get the job done we have performed to support small firms.” McKee mentioned.

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