Business Grants and Loans in Rhode Island: Funding for Your Rhode Island Business

Rhode Island, also knowns as the Ocean state, has gorgeous state parks and old school New England Charm. This teeny little state attracts tourists, particularly in the water months, who come to frolick on the shoreline. While Rhode Island may not be known for its friendliness to small business, you may still consider starting your next venture there. If you operate a Rhode Island business, you may be eligible for one (or more) of the business loans and grants listed below. Take a peek. 

Department or Agency: Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management

 Loan or Grant title: Local Agriculture and Seafood Act Grant Program (LASA)

The Local Agriculture and Seafood Act Grant Program supports a variety of activities associated with promoting the growth and sustainability of local food and seafood industries in Rhode Island. Maximum grant awards are $20,000 for qualifying farms, businesses, and individuals. Funding priorities include but are not limited to, new or existing agricultural or fishery business, new product development, safety improvements, or the development of new marketing, promotion, sales, and distribution channels.

Department or Agency: Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources

Loan or Grant title: RI Agricultural Energy Program

The RI Agricultural Energy Program is designed to help small farmers adopt more energy-efficient practices. Grants of up to $20,000 will be awarded to eligible renewable energy projects (including photovoltaics, wind, and biomass), or energy-efficient projects such as LED lighting, solar thermal, envelope insulation, and more. To be eligible, applicants must have a physical location within the state of Rhode Island, the project must be installed in Rhode Island, and the applicant must meet the program definition of an “agricultural operation.” See the program guidelines for complete information.

Department or Agency: Rhode Island Commerce Corporation

Loan or Grant title: Renewable Energy Fund

Commerce Rhode Island’s Renewable Energy Fund is designed to grow the use of renewable energy throughout the state. Grants are available for a variety of energy projects that have the potential to create jobs in green technology and energy sectors. Funding amounts vary and will be available until the fund budget is allocated. Eligible projects include small-scale solar, commercial, and community renewables.

Department or Agency: Rhode Island Commerce Corporation

Loan or Grant title: Innovation Voucher Program

The Innovation Voucher Program supports research and development initiatives at Rhode Island small businesses with 500 employees or less. Voucher certificates of up to $50,000 can be redeemed to support the following: the commercialization of a new product; expenses for scientific, engineering, or design expertise; or scaling to market an innovative idea. Funding is open to corporations, nonprofits, and sole proprietorships in the state of Rhode Island. Note, expert assistance must be secured from a knowledge provider located within the state of Rhode Island.

Department or Agency: Rhode Island Job Development Fund

 Loan or Grant title: Workplace Accessibility Grants

Workplace Accessibility Grants advance employment opportunities for disabled people by providing funding to employers to make their workplaces more accessible. Eligible businesses with under 25 employees can receive full reimbursement of expenses up to $5,000. Please refer to the program guide for additional eligibility and funding details.

Department or Agency: Rhode Island Job Development Fund

Loan or Grant title: Incumbent Worker Training Grants

Incumbent Worker Training Grants help Rhode Island businesses stay competitive by investing in the skill development of their employees. Annual grants of up to $30,000 are available to cover up to 50 % of eligible training costs for companies with 25 or more employees, and up to 75 % of eligible costs for businesses with under 25 employees. Applicants and their training focus must meet the eligibility requirements listed in the grant program guide.

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