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Rhode Island On Pause Grant Program Extended

December 10, 2020

The two week “pause” in Rhode Island has been extended one week, and will now end December 20th. This could be a major hit on businesses. Luckily the Governor has extended a grant program that could alleviate some of these potential difficulties.

*Editor’s Note: This blog has been updated as of December 10, 2020 for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Attention Rhode Island Businesses….Governor Gina Raimondo has extended the two week pause by one week, now ending December 20th. Due to the extension which will impact businesses, the Grant Program for Rhode Island on Pause for businesses affected by Governor's recent executive order (imposing further restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic) has also been extended. Here’s what you should know about the grant and eligibility.

What is the “pause”?

On November 19, Governor Raimondo announced a two week pause starting November 30, which banned Rhode Islanders from socializing outside their households. The pause has involved closing gyms, colleges, bars, recreational venues (including casinos) and canceling organized sports, while keeping indoor dining and houses of worship open with limited capacity.

On Thursday, December 10, 2020 the Governor announced a one week extension to the pause, to now be ending December 20, 2020.

Many RI businesses will be negatively impacted by this pause extension. The Grant Program for RI on Pause is aimed at relieving two groups of businesses directly impacted by the restrictions and the pandemic.

This Grant is intended to be used to:

  1. Pay for operational costs incurred throughout the year to enable the business to remain open through the Pause;
  2. Ensure the reopening of the business happens as soon as possible after the Pause if the business was unable to remain open during the Pause;
  3. Pay the wages and/or salaries of employees to avoid furloughs or layoffs.

How do you qualify?

Businesses must show and attest that they have suffered a monetary loss to qualify.

Who is eligible?

As the State of RI Division of Taxation website details, eligibility is split in two groups:

GROUP 1 – Restaurants, bars, caterers and food trucks that have an active meals and beverage account

GROUP 2 – Businesses that fall into the following industries:

  1. Restaurant or Bar
  2. Caterer
  3. Food truck
  4. Indoor Recreation or Entertainment Establishment
    -Indoor entertainment establishment (e.g. movie theater, comedy club, performing arts venue/organization)
    -Indoor recreation (e.g. arcade, bowling center, pool/billiard hall, escape-the-room, trampoline park, roller-skating rink)
    -Indoor spectator sports venue
    -Other Indoor Recreation or Entertainment Venue
  5. Gym or Fitness Center
    -Gym/athletic club/exercise center/health club
    -Sports facility (tennis club/racquetball club/hockey rink/swimming facility)
    -Fitness instruction center (e.g. aerobics, dance, yoga, karate, etc.)
    -Other Gym or Fitness Center
  6. Event Support Professionals impacted by the Pause whose primary source of income (more than 50%) is event-related, including only photographers, videographers, florists, limo services, event planners, event rentals, performers, convention and trade show organizers, hair and make-up professionals.

What are the requirements?

All applicants must be:

  1. Business impacted by the restrictions mandated by the Governor's Executive Order - Rhode Island on Pause issued on November 25, 2020 regarding restrictions effective from November 30, 2020 through December 20, 2020
  2. Registered with the RI Division of Taxation
  3. Filing taxes with the RI Division of Taxation
  4. Be a viable business - either currently open or temporarily closed
  5. Not in or considering federal bankruptcy or state receivership
  6. Have proof of impact

Additionally, there are further requirements for Group 1 applicants. Group 1 applicants must:

  1. Maintain an active Meals and Beverage account with the RI Division of Taxation
  2. Have filed and paid Sales tax AND Meals and Beverage tax. You will need to report the total amount paid for sales tax and meals and beverage tax for the month September of 2020.

How to apply

  1. Get your Sales tax Permit Number and Liquor License Number (if applicable)
  2. Gather your Sales tax and Meals and Beverage tax filing information for the month of September 2020
  3. Gather your payroll records as of September 2020
  4. Complete the on-line application
  5. Attest to the statements being made on the application

When is the deadline?

Applications will be accepted through midnight on Monday, December 14, 2020. Grants will range in amounts from $500 to $50,000.

The first round of checks is set to be mailed out tomorrow, December 11. Those who already applied for relief will automatically get a second round of checks (no need to re-apply), which will be equal to half the first. Those applying now and going forward will get the full three weeks covered. Additionally, the added $200 in unemployment benefits will be extended for the third week.

Questions on your eligibility? We can help.

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