• Newport-Area Businesses Awarded Grants To 'Take It Outside'

    Newport-Area Businesses Awarded Grants To 'Take It Outside'

    The first round awardees was announced this week.

    Original article can be found here.

    NEWPORT, RI — Nearly three dozen organizations across Rhode Island were awarded $3 million total in grants to help "Take It Outside" in the first of two rounds of funding from the state. In Newport and the surrounding communities, six organizations were awarded $340,000, along with $75,000 to the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce.

    Newport officials encouraged businesses to reach out to the city to request items that will make outdoor operations easier in the coming weeks and months. If you own or operate a restaurant in town and would like help to extend your outdoor dining season, please don't hesitate to reach out!" the city said. "We're hoping to begin distributing items such as outdoor heaters, tents, and other equipment as soon as possible!"

    The grants were awarded to chambers of commerce, community organizations, municipalities and other "intermediary organizations" which will distribute the funding to local businesses to help cover the costs of conducting business outdoors, from furniture to lighting, heating lamps and more. 

    For several months, Gov. Gina Raimondo has called for businesses to move outdoors as much as possible to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state. Two weeks ago, she announced $1 million in funding to help accomplish this goal. After receiving more than 80 quality proposals, she announced this week that the funding would be increased five-fold, totaling $5 million over two rounds of funding.


    "As we enter the fall, it's important that we help businesses extend the outdoor season and continue to reduce the rate of transmission," Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor said. "We were encouraged by applicants' creativity in proposing so many clever and practical ways to help businesses overcome COVID- and climate-related challenges. We thank all of the organizations that applied and are finding ways to take it outside and keep commerce going."

    The first round of recipients was announced Thursday; Newport's are listed below. Recipients can spend up to the amount they are awarded. The Island Moving Company is seeking to create outdoor events where movies and performances may be conducted. They will also allow for outdoor food vendors to operate at these events.


    Island Moving Company: $15,000
    The Island Moving Company is seeking to create outdoor events where movies and performances may be conducted. They will also allow for outdoor food vendors to operate at these events. 18. Farm Fresh Rhode Island, $16,000 Farm Fresh Rhode Island would like to create an outdoor marketplace for food sales from local food vendors.

    Town of Middletown: $75,000
    In partnership with the City of Newport, this proposal would distribute outdoor goods to local businesses and organizations to enable them to conduct their operations outside.

    City of Newport: $75,000
    In partnership with the Town of Middletown, this proposal would distribute outdoor goods to local businesses and organizations to enable them to conduct their operations outside.

    Town of Jamestown: $40,000
    The Town of Jamestown is seeking funding to (1) equip a parking lot in the center of their town with the necessary infrastructure for restaurants to serve outdoors in colder weather and (2) purchase goods to distribute to businesses that would allow them to conduct their operations outdoors.

    Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce: $75,000
    The Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce is seeking funding to (1) create an outdoor job fair; (2) expand Innovate Newport's outdoor capacity; and (3) procure goods to be distributed to businesses for to expand their outdoor capacity.

    Discover Newport: $60,000
    Hearing directly of the need from restaurants in the greater Newport area, Discover Newport is seeking funding to purchase mylar single use blankets for restaurants to distribute to patrons to encourage and promote outdoor dining through the remainder of the year.
     

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