Raimondo Administration Announces Small Business Assistance Partners Now Accepting Applications

The Small Business Assistance Program joins the Commerce Corporation’s suite of
tools to help businesses in Rhode Island grow and succeed

Providence, R.I. (November 15, 2016) – The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation today
announced that Small Business Assistance Program, a new program aiding eligible
small businesses in obtaining the credit required to move their business forward up
and running our program partners are accepting applications. The Small Business
Assistance Program joins a suite of economic development tools and incentives
offered by the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation to help businesses thrive in Rhode
Island

«We are very pleased to offer this program specifically focused on small businesses,
because such businesses are the backbone of Rhode Island’s economy,» said Rhode
Island Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor. «We want to make the process of starting
and growing small businesses easier than ever in Rhode Island.»

The Small Business Assistance Program is designed to help small businesses that are
challenged in obtaining adequate credit or adequate terms for such credit from
traditional lending organizations. Providing greater access to capital will enable
the formation and expansion of small businesses across the state and provide job
opportunities to state residents. Microenterprises, minority and women-owned
businesses and enterprises in Rhode Island’s most impoverished communities are among
the small businesses that this program aims to assist.

«Access to capital is key for any business owner,» said Rhode Island Commerce
Corporation President Darin Early. «One of our mandates here at the Commerce
Corporation is to make it easier to do business in Rhode Island, and part of that is
enabling our small businesses to get a leg up in our state.»

The corporation has partnered with lending organizations to make small business
loans available to viable businesses unable to find credit elsewhere. There are two
tiers of lending partners: Those who will offer micro-loans of between $2,000 and
$25,000 and those who will provide loans over $25,000. The selected partners and the
awards from the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation are as follows:

Partners for loans:

* Business Development Company: $1 million
* Community Investment Corporation: $1 million
* SEED: $1 million

Partners for micro-loans:
* Center for Women and Enterprise: $150,000
* Community Investment Corporation: $170,000
* Social Enterprise Greenhouse: $125,000

The Corporation has also partnered with BDC Capital Corporation to establish the
Rhode Island Capital Access Program. Businesses can borrow as little as $1,000 or
up to $750,000. The program encourages banks and credit unions to make slightly
riskier loan by providing matching funds from the state to create cash collateral
accounts. The program is simple, fast and flexible for both borrowers and lenders

Specific contacts for each lender are as follows:
BDC Capital -Dave Harrington: (781) 928-1117
(dharrington@bdcnewengland.com)
BDC Rhode Island -Peter Dorsey (401) 351-3036
(PDorsey@bdcri.com)
Center for Women and Enterprise – Susan Rittscher
(srittscher@cweonline.org , Carmen Diaz-Jusino
(cdiazjusino@cweonline.org) (401) 427-6538
Community Investment Corporation – Buck Harris
(bharris@ciclending.com) (203) 776-6172 x128
SEED – Maria Gooch-Smith (mgoochsmith@seedcorp.com)
(508) 822-1020 x314
Social Enterprise Greenhouse – Kelly Ramirez
(kramirez@segreenhouse.org) (401) 749-7238
Companies looking for more information on the Small Business Assistance Program
should visit
http://commerceri.com/finance-business/taxes-incentives/small-business-assistance-program/
or email Dan Jennings at
dan.jennings@commerceri.com.

About Rhode Island Commerce Corporation
The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation is the full-service, official economic
development organization for the state of Rhode Island. A quasi-public agency, the
corporation serves as a government and community resource to help streamline the
business expansion in, and relocation to, Rhode Island. The agency assists companies
with commercial real estate, business financing, workforce training and other
relevant issues. For more, visit: www.commerceri.com.