Small businesses rally for support from the Governor

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)— The Rhode Island Coalition of Small Businesses is holding a rally at the statehouse Wednesday pushing the Governor to release additional money in grants.

This is part of the $300-million left from the CARES Act. That money needs to be spent by the end of the year or it will go back to the federal government.

Governor Gina Raimondo has already released $50-million in grants, but as of last week, only a little less than half has been given out as businesses say the application process is long and drawn out.

Many business owners from across the state are already struggling ahead of the two-week pause and are worried they won’t make it through.

“These businesses don’t have the cashflow like big corporations to just survive another 3–6 month, Chris Parisi, RI Small Business Coalition said.

The Small Business Coalition along with the Lt. Governor are pushing for another $75-million to be allocated.

“We’re running out of time,” Lt. Governor Dan McKee said. “This money has to be allocated by December 30 so that means those decisions on the allocation have to be made before Christmas.”

One of the businesses that has been making noise are gym owners. Gyms will be closed to the public during that two-week pause.

Many gym owners say they feel they’ve been singled out as other businesses like restaurants are able to stay open to an extent.

State legislators are also speaking out for gyms asking the Governor to reconsider the decision as there haven’t been any noted cases or outbreaks there and it’s one of the things that keeps people going physically and mentally through the pandemic.

“I can go into Target tonight if I want, touch everything on the rack that’s already been touched by a hundred people, and that’s ok,” Rep. Julie Casimiro said. “But I can’t go to a gym where we’re sanitizing our weights, we’re taking temperatures, we’re sanitizing our hands, we’re wearing masks, we’re even working out outdoors in 29 degree weather.”

The rally will start at 10:30 a.m. at Hawkins Street and then head to the State House for 11:00 a.m


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