Buy cheap website traffic

COVID aid for small businesses in RI getting caught up in red tape

Small businesses trying to secure the latest round of federal grants to offset losses from the pandemic are finding increased restrictions and, in many cases, delays in receiving their checks.

The primary reason: the federal government is making businesses jump through more hoops to receive funding from the latest tranche of money provided to the states for COVID relief.

“It is not as easy for a small business to receive [money] through these funds as it used to be,” Hannah Moore, assistant secretary at the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, said this week. “The federal government has undergone a transition in [its] technical assistance that seems to have exacerbated some of the delays. We hear this multiple times every day.”

The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation announced in February that it was launching a program called RI Rebounds, offering small businesses grants up to $5,000 from a pool of $12.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds awarded to the state.

Budget increase rejected:Taxpayers reject giving extra money to strapped Central Coventry Fire District

And while the federal government has tightened its restrictions, several businesses say Commerce is responsible for some of the difficulty in securing grants.