Boost for businesses

Posted 5/31/23

The city of Cranston is partnering with the state to provide up to $20,000 in grants and aid to small businesses.

Director of Economic Development Franklin Paulino said there are three different …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Boost for businesses


The city of Cranston is partnering with the state to provide up to $20,000 in grants and aid to small businesses.

Director of Economic Development Franklin Paulino said there are three different programs in place, each with up to $10,000 available to small business owners. The three programs can each be applied for individually and each helps to provide either reimbursement for expenditures on improvements for ventilation or outside dining or providing technical assistance to business owners, explained Paulino.

“Currently we have three grants available,” said Paulino. “One is the ventilation program that has to do with installing higher grade filters for air quality, air conditioning or even adding windows or fans to their small business. Anything that has to do with airflow in business. They’re giving up to $10,000.”

The Take it Outside grant has a similar premise but relates to costs involved in providing increased outdoor services, particularly related to dining. Tables, chairs, electric heaters and anything else businesses have purchased in order to increase their outdoor service can be included in grant requests for reimbursement.

Beginning during COVID, the Take it Outside grant began as a way of helping small businesses, especially restaurants, continue to thrive during the pandemic. This will be the second round of Take it Outside which has already provided over $4 million dollars of help to businesses state-wide, Paulino explained. While these grants are often awarded to restaurants, any small business can apply for the reimbursement as long as they have documented costs related to increasing outdoor traffic.

Both of these grants have a total applicable benefit of $10,000 together. In other words, applicants can apply for one or both grants, but can only receive a maximum of $10,000 from the combined grants. As reimbursement grants, both of these programs must be applied for after businesses have already spent funds on qualified purchases. They can then apply for reimbursements.

“You do the project,” Paulino explained. “You keep the receipt and then we reimburse you. It’s that simple. Of course it has to be purchased for the right reason, but we try to make the process as simple as possible. This is great news because not enough people know about this. A lot of this money from the state is coming from the ARPA funds. The state has all that money and we as a local community are helping to direct people to make use of it.”

This, however, is not the only grant opportunity Cranston businesses have. In addition to the $10,000 of reimbursement for air quality and ventilation or outdoor dining available, Cranston local businesses can apply for up to $10,000 in value of services.

“We’ve been fighting to get this one going for about two years,” Paulino said. “When you have a business, for example, an account or CPA, help in marketing, in public relations this is here for you. If you need someone to help with branding or public relations you can get it here. Let’s say you need a business consultant to help you get your business or the ground, that is what this grant is for.”

The Technical Assistance grant, unlike the others, is not a reimbursement grant. Business owners are not recovering money they’ve spent, rather they are being given services from state assigned sources to help with any technical aspects that business owners may need help with. Where the Ventilation and Take it Outside grant programs are focused on giving cash directly to businesses to recoup loss of funds, the Technical Assistance grant program helps by linking businesses in need with assigned helpers in a variety of fields to provide support to businesses.

Like the previous programs, the Technical Assistance grant provides up to $10,000 of value, but it does so indirectly.

By providing and paying for qualified professionals to provide services to businesses that may not be able to afford it, the Technical Assistance grant is another way small business owners can gain up to $10,000 worth of value that may help their business to grow without having to spend any money upfront.

“Let’s say you need a business consultant, or a digital marketer to help with your Youtube channel, this is the grant for that,” Paulino explained. “They can help with your social media outlets. You won’t get the money directly, but you’ll get that technical assistance that would have cost you thousands of dollars.”

Those looking to apply for any of these grants can do so directly through the RI Chamber of Commerce at Those unsure of their eligibility can contact Paulino and Cranston’s office of economic development at (401) 780-3166.

“These grants are first come first serve,” Paulino said. “They will be available to those who need them right up until funds run out. The ventilation is pretty new, but the second round of Take it Outside is coming and that Technical Assistance grant is going to really help a lot of people.”

businesses, grants, aid


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here