Key Takeaways of the Restore RI Grant Program

For RI Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

The Raimondo Administration announced a new grant program, Restore RI, targeted for small businesses that have been most severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will provide eligible businesses with grants of up to $15,000. Restore RI is taking applications starting on Monday, August 3, 2020. 

 

Below are the key take-aways, including who qualifies, grant amounts and the application process and instructions. To jump to a particular section, click on the links below: 

If you have any questions, please contact us at your earliest convenience. Your team at Restivo Monacelli can help develop a customized strategy to help you minimize the impact of COVID-19 on your business.

 

1. Eligibility - Who Qualifies for the Restore RI Grants?

To be eligible for a Restore RI grant, a business must meet all of the following criteria: 

  • Operates primarily in an eligible industry (for the list of eligible industries, click here);

  • Experienced a revenue loss due to COVID-19 equal to or greater than: (1) 30% if the business is in a severely-impacted industry (defined as retail trades; scenic & sightseeing transportation; arts, entertainment, and recreation; accommodation and food services; and personal care services); or (2) 50% if the business is in a non-severely impacted industry;

  • Has a physical presence in RI.

  • Has at least one employee for which direct payroll taxes are paid, in addition to the owner;

  • Has a DUNS number - The federal government uses the DUNS number to track how federal money is allocated. If you do not already have a DUNS number you can obtain one online free of charge by clicking here.

  • Not a non-profit or tax-exempt organization;

  • Has not declared bankruptcy within the past three years;

  • Does not have any federal, state or local tax liens;

  • Had been in operation prior to or on January 1, 2020;

  • Currently open or has a plan to reopen in the next 60 days*; and

  • For a business that is part of a regional or national franchise with locations outside of Rhode Island, if any of the following apply, the business is not eligible: (1) the applicant is owned in whole or in part by the franchisor or an affiliated entity of the franchisor, (2) the applicant or the entity that owns the applicant is headquartered in another state, or (3) the majority ownership of the applicant is held by a resident of another state and the applicant’s state of organization is other than RI.

Notes: 

  • There is a limit on multi-location applicants. Businesses with shared ownership can receive grants for up to three businesses they own and operate in the state of Rhode Island.

  • Businesses that have not yet reopened may receive up to $1,000 prior to reopening.

  • You will need to know your 3-digit NAICS code to use the Grant Formula Calculator, which can be downloaded by clicking here.

 

2. Grant Amounts

The following table shows the maximum grant amount a business may receive based on revenue loss, number of employees, and whether it operates in a severely impacted industry. Severely impacted industries include:

  • Retail trade

  • Accommodation and food services

  • Personal care services

  • Arts, entertainment, and recreation

  • Scenic & sightseeing transportation

Maximum grant amount per business is $15,000 or $12,500 in other eligible industries. Final grant amounts for those eligible to receive an award greater than $5,000 will be determined based on a showing of eligible expenses up to the maximum award your business is eligible to receive.

The application, requirements, documentation and instructions will be made available on the Rhode Island Commerce Restore RI website https://commerceri.com/about-us/restore-ri/ beginning Monday, August 3rd.

Completed applications will be approved on a first-come, first-served basis, so businesses are encouraged to gather the necessary documentation as soon as possible.

To help you prepare, you will need to provide the following: 

  • Number of Full Time Employees: FTEs can be calculated using the Grant Eligibility & Award Estimator 

  • Revenue loss: Did your business experienced a year-over-year revenue loss of greater than 30% or 50% during Q2 2020 (April through June) versus Q2 2019 (April through June)? 

  • NAICS Code for your industry: If you are not sure what industry your business primarily operates in, descriptions can be found at: https://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?chart=2017

  • Is the business currently open or planning to reopen in the next 60 days (from completed application)? 

  • Did you receive a PPP loan?  If you did not receive a PPP loan, you are still eligible for a grant.

 

4. What Funds Can Be Used For

Below is list of permissible uses:

 

  • Rent or mortgage interest payments (rent payments, the interest paid on a mortgage, condo area maintenance fees, and Condo fees are eligible)

  • Utilities (such as gas, electricity, cable/internet, etc.)

  • Technology upgrades (such as website or hardware upgrades, touchless payment system, digital reservation system, etc.)

  • Physical adaptation changes (such as plexiglass dividers, furniture/fixture modifications, contractor costs for installation, etc.)

  • Supplies or equipment (such as cleaning supplies, masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, face shields, etc)

  • Professional services procured (such as the signage design, construction of space adaptations)

  • Inventory (such as food or perishable supplies)

  • Other COVID-Related Fixed Expenses

 

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact one of our tax specialists at Restivo Monacelli LLP. We are here to assist you during this time of great uncertainty.