Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee announced earlier this week the establishment of a $500,000 loan fund to assist Rhode Island businesses that have been affected by Tropical Storm Irene. The loans are being made available through the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation’s Small Business Loan Fund
“Although we in Rhode Island were fortunate to avoid any loss of life, there is no doubt that Irene took a toll on businesses throughout the state,” Gov. Chafee said. “These funds will help small businesses that sustained damage or had their services interrupted by the storm get back on their feet as soon as possible. Rhode Island did an excellent job preparing for Irene, and now we want to bring that same commitment to the recovery process.”
“It is imperative that we get businesses back up and running and their employees back to work. These funds are a vital resource that will provide Rhode Island businesses with the critical emergency capital they need to repair damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene and resume their operations as quickly as possible,” said RIEDC Executive Director Keith Stokes.
The state funds are available as working capital to help Rhode Island businesses that have experienced disruptions to their operations due to the storm and will help local businesses repair damage and replace broken machinery and equipment.
Any existing Rhode Island manufacturers, retailers and selected service businesses are eligible for loans ranging from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $100,000 at a 5 percent fixed interest rate. The terms of the loans range from one to five years. Loans of up to $50,000 for eligible businesses can be approved quickly without the approval of the Small Business Loan Fund Corporation Board of Directors. Loans of more than $50,000 will require board approval.
The RIEDC’s storm assistance loans are only available to businesses. Residential properties and individuals are not eligible.
To qualify for loans, businesses must supply evidence of damage sustained from Tropical Storm Irene or business interruption caused by the storm. Businesses must also show that they have made insurance payments to cover this kind of storm damage.
Rhode Island businesses interested in more information about how to apply for a storm assistance loan can contact the RIEDC’s Finance Department at 401-278-9183.