Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo today announced a new grant program for gyms, restaurants, fitness centers, event planners, bars, and a number of other businesses that are subject to new restrictions amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Using federal Coronavirus Relief Funds, the Governor authorized the payment of grants to these impacted businesses. Under the program, the Rhode Island Department of Revenue’s Division of Taxation will issue grants to businesses adversely impacted by the pandemic. Each such grant will range from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $50,000. Governor Raimondo developed the new grant program to coincide with the Executive Order – Rhode Island on Pause, that mandates closures for certain businesses and other restrictions on business operations.

The new provisions are part of a range of measures aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus and reducing the number of coronavirus cases, which have been rising throughout much of the world in recent weeks.

“We all have to work together to combat the coronavirus. Restrictions are a key part of our efforts. But at the same time, we must recognize the many hardships that our business community faces. Therefore, we are launching this grant program to provide needed relief to those businesses that will be directly affected by this round of restrictions. These are grants, not loans; they are intended to provide some measure of financial assistance to help the affected businesses cope,” said Rhode Island Tax Administrator Neena Savage.

The relief program will be paid for through federal funds that have been made available to the states for pandemic relief. In coordination with the Governor’s announcement, the Division of Taxation launched a new webpage, including frequently asked questions, to explain how the program works and provide businesses and their advisors with helpful information regarding applying for the grants.

The Division of Taxation is working to set up an online application, which will be available in English and Spanish, starting today. The webpage, including FAQs, is available now, via the following link: http://www.tax.ri.gov/RIonPause/