• Governor announces new opportunity to help RI businesses to enhance their digital platforms & work remotely

    Governor announces new opportunity to help RI businesses to enhance their digital platforms & work remotely

    Dear Members,
    At today’s press conference, the Governor announced a new opportunity to help businesses in RI to enhance their digital platforms and work remotely. All RI businesses are eligible to receive Office 365 for free for the next 6 months. This includes services for videoconferencing, instant messaging, and file sharing. Businesses who already use the product and those companies will be eligible for a free year subscription. 
    Here is information from the State of Rhode Island Division of Information Technology http://www.doit.ri.gov/covid-19/:
    For businesses, municipalities, K-12 and other entities, Microsoft is providing six months of Office 365 tools for free to enable remote collaboration, file sharing and video conferencing. They’re also offering free assistance to set up these tools. Click the following links for more information about these free services:
    For Businesses: Free Office 365 E1 offer for six months. Please follow this link.
    For Schools: Free Office 365 A1 available to all educational institutions. Sign up by following this link.
    For Individuals:
    • If you have an email address through work or school, sign in using this link.
    • If you’re using an email address like Gmail or Outlook, you can sign up for a version of Teams by following this link.
    If you need additional assistance with this products, please contact: Jon Huber
    Technology Strategist | Microsoft Public Sector
    280 Trumbull St., 21st Floor | Hartford CT 06103
    860.573.2509[m] | jon.huber@microsoft.com
    Again, we encourage all businesses who can to work remotely to do so. Additional services can be accessed to streamline the process of moving to virtual and remote work. Here is a list of just some of our members who might be able to help you during this time:
    • Northeast Engineers & Consultants
    • Onsite Techs
    • Roskelly, Inc.
    • Sage Solutions, LLC
    • SEA CORP
    • Small Business Computers
    • Social Solutions
    • Solidifi Title & Closing, LLC 
    • Staples
    • STEM Clarity
    • The Passion Fruit Media
    • TJ'S Audio and Electronics
    • TS ConsultingVHB, Inc.
    • Wow Media
    • x10industries DBA Newport Social
    These are wonderful local businesses who are all doing their part to help during this crisis. If you would like additional information about these businesses, please do not hesitate to reach out to us or utilize the Member Directory https://www.newportchamber.com/list to get their direct contact information.
    Lastly, for those who are involved with non-profits, The Rhode Island Foundation has setup a fund to support non-profit organizations. From Neil Steinberg, “The Fund here will focus on immediate needs that we are already seeing to provide flexible grants to support challenges that will arise related to the health, social, and economic impacts of this serious health issue. Our grant staff is very well equipped to consider the wave of requests we anticipate. We will also coordinate with the UWAY to distribute the funds.”
    Announcement of Covid – 19 Response Fund from RI Foundation: Click here.
    Thank you again for all of your efforts to ensure we flatten the curve. I am so proud of this business community.
    Erin Donovan-Boyle
    Press Releases
    RI Hospitality Association: COVID-19 Guidelines: Take-Out and Delivery
    Personal Hygiene
    • Employees must ensure proper hand washing practices are followed
    • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, paying special attention to in between
    fingers and underneath nails
    • Hand sanitizer should not be used in place of hand washing. If hand sanitizer is used after hand washing, allow time for it to dry completely prior to touching any surfaces or food products. Read more here.
    SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Rhode Island Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
    The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Rhode Island small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced today. SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, to declare a disaster following a request received from Gov. Gina M. Raimondo on March 16, 2020. Read more here.
    On-going helpful resources:
    Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce Support Small Business Challenge - Email Kate@newportchamber.com with your business adjustments during the COVID-19 breakout. Help us help you during these difficult times! 
    National CDC website- Up to date info on progression nation wide.
    https://health.ri.gov/ State of RI Dept. of Health
    U.S. Travel Association-a guide for communicating healthy travel habits to your guests, talking points & general facts
    American Hotel & Lodging Association- robust tool kit for lodging property owners
    National Restaurant Association-industry guidelines for restaurant owners
    U.S. Chamber of Commerce-strategies to protect your workforce from the Coronavirus while ensuring continuity of operations.
    https://www.rihospitality.org/ RI Hospitality Association
    State Government Press Releases - updated regularly
    To request a disaster declaration, the SBA asks that we collect information that shows that businesses have suffered a substantial economic injury aa result of the disaster, the COVID-19 pandemic. We are seeking businesses willing to fill out a survey and share with us how their business has been impacted. The survey is online here
    Survey request from Commerce RI:
    Commerce RI is collecting information from impacted businesses to use in Rhode Island’s application for an SBA disaster declaration. This disaster declaration will unlock SBA tools including economic impact disaster loans. (click on the Commerce RI logo above for the PDF)
    The 2020 Census is here!
    While you are home for the foreseeable future please fill out the RI 2020 Census. The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade. That funding shapes many different aspects of every community, no matter the size, no matter the location. Read more here.
    The Greater Newport Chamber offices at Innovate Newport will be closed for the next two weeks with full staff working remotely and available to our Members via email and phone. We encourage all businesses who are able to work remotely to do the same.
    Erin Donovan - Boyle
    Executive Director
    Kate Grotteberg
    Events, Development & Program Director
    Jo-anne Gorton
    Executive Coordinator
    Rebecca Chace
    Marketing & Social Media Coordinator
    Lori Burke
    Membership Associate
    Ashley Medeiros
    Regional Economic Development Consultant Connect Greater Newport
    Todd LaChance
    Community Manager, Innovate Newport

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