Micro Enterprise Business Grants

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The Rhode Island Office of Housing & Community Development (OHCD) has made Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding available for grants of up to $5,000 to qualifying small (Micro) businesses owned by low or moderate income individuals. Applicants may use the grant funds for working capital to cover business operating expenses such as: rent, staffing and utilities. Funds cannot be used for major equipment purchases, buying land or buildings, construction or expansion activities, or political lobbying.

The application process for this grant program will be run through the Jamestown Planning Department.  All applications and supporting documentation must be filed with the Planning Department for review. 

Scroll down through the fives easy steps below to learn more and apply. The program’s basic eligibility criteria and exclusions are described below and application materials are provided in the links below. If you have questions please feel free to contact Town Planner, Lisa Bryer in the Planning Department by phone at (401) 423-7209 or by email at lbryer@jamestownri.net

NOTE:  If you find yourself disqualified due to the eligibility criteria, please let us know and we will relay the information to the state.  This information could be used to tailor future relief programs.

Step 1: Determining Eligibility and Understanding the Process

To start off with a strong foundation and make your progress through the next steps easier, we highly encourage you to take time upfront to read the two documents below.
The MicroE application process begins with you determining whether your business qualifies for funds based on requirements primarily established by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). To make the experience of applying as accessible and uncomplicated as possible for our small businesses, the Town of Jamestown has not adopted any local standards in addition to what the federal and state governments have set out.  Please see the links below for more information regarding the program and eligibility.

If you determine that your business qualifies, please proceed to "Step 2: Preparing an Application".

Step 2: Preparing an Application

After completing Step 1 and establishing that you meet the requirements to receive a grant, you're ready to begin completing an application. All the necessary application documents can be found here (don't forget to gather the supporting documents to back-up your case for funding): 

*Note: A Form W-9 must be completed by businesses for the Town to issue a Form 1099 for your 2020 tax filings (grants will be considered income by the federal and state governments).

Step 3: Scheduling and Receiving a Phone Screening

After you've filled out your application and gathered all the required documents, you can schedule a half-hour block on most days/times below to go over your work with the Town Planner. During this time, you will go through the application documents to confirm nothing's been missed and that the answers you provided will meet the State's expectations. Please do not schedule a phone screening appointment until you're confident that your application will be ready for review at the time you select Please also note that applications should not be submitted in advance of the phone screening (this will come in the next step).
To schedule your phone screening, email Lisa Bryer, Town Planner, at lbryer@jamestownri.net. Phone screenings are generally available:
  • Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM thru 12:00 PM

Step 4: Submitting Your Application for Third-Party Review

Once you've had and successfully passed your phone screening, you're ready to submit your application to the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC). The State has contracted with this nation-wide non-profit (whose local office is in Providence, RI) to assist MicroE participating communities with the official application review process. Shortly after you're phone screening, you'll receive instructions on how to submit your application. To help you prepare in advance, please be aware that you'll need access to the following office equipment:
  • Scanner or photocopier
  • Secure email (remember - the application you send will contain personal/private financial information)

Step 5: Getting Approved and Receiving Your Award

Once LISC's review is complete and the application is confirmed to qualify, the Town will issue both you and the State a Notice of Tentative Approval. From there, the Town will work with the State on your behalf to complete the final administrative actions. Once done, you'll be sent a Grant Agreement (sample linked here) to execute and return within three days. Your check will then be cut within three days of the Grant Agreement's receipt.
After receiving your award, the only additional work required will be to complete and submit four consecutive quarterly reports to the Town (covering a one-year period). The Quarterly Update Report can be accessed here:

Contact us

Did this webpage have what you were looking for? Are there additional details you'd like explained about anything above? Is there something the Town or its partners can do to better assist you? Please reach out to any of the following contacts to let us know more:
  • Lisa Bryer, Town Planner - lbryer@jamestownri.net
  • Jamie Hainsworth, Town Administrator - jhainsworth@jamestownri.net
The 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic is an ongoing and continuously-developing situation. We're thankful for the patience and support of our small businesses during this time.