SBA Rhode Island District Office Weekly News & Updates

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Rhode Island District Office  - September 18, 2020

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From the Director's Desk

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SBA Rhode Island District Director, Mark S. Hayward

National Small Business Week kicks off next week, and I am hope you will join us in celebrating all of the very worthy winners both around the country and of course here in Rhode Island. It has been a challenging year for all of us, but we have seen tremendous resilience from small business owners and entrepreneurs, and the virtual celebrations and events planned, which are outlined below, will provide not only some great information, but welcome smiles and fun as we celebrate all of our winners

This virtual conference is a great opportunity to participate in educational panels, hear from industry experts, and meet this year’s small business winners, including the Rhode Island Small Business Persons of the Year, Harmony Oschefski and Cedar Hwang, owners of the bodhi spa.  I am thrilled to announce that Rhode Island is also home to five New England regional winners, more than any other state in the region.

All of our winners are shining representations of the strength and resilience of the Rhode Island small business community.  Now more than ever, all of our small businesses need support in order to recover, adapt, and innovate as we all look to move forwards towards a strong, bright future together.  We will be celebrating them all next week, so stay tuned!

Additionally, as you read on below, our office has created a short survey to assess the needs of small businesses in Rhode Island as we move into the fall and towards colder weather.  If you have not received a link from a chamber of commerce or small business association to take this survey, please scroll down and click the link to take it.  It is only 6 questions, but the information we get from you will be vital to us and our partners as we look to help you with the exact things your business needs going forward.  Thank you.


National Small Business Week Virtual Conference 2020

As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration and cosponsors will host all virtual events September 22-24, 2020. This year’s National Small Business Week activities will include numerous educational panels providing retooling and innovative practices for entrepreneurs as our nation’s small businesses look to pivot and recover, contributing to a stronger economy. The event will recognize the national award winners, including the naming of the National Small Business Person of the Year.

The National Small Business Week event schedule includes three days recognizing America’s outstanding entrepreneurs, shining a spotlight on the nation’s 30 million small businesses across the country.

Tuesday, September 22, 1 p.m. EST – “Pride in America’s Small Businesses

Day’s events include:
National Small Business Week Welcome - SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza
Keynote Address: National Small Business Week Awards Presentations

Wednesday, September 23, 9 a.m. EST – “Preparing for a stronger tomorrow: Recovery, Adaptation, and Innovation

Day’s events include:Panel Discussion
Series - America’s Strength, Learning to Pivot and Innovate
Mid-day Sessions - SBA’s Veteran Resources and Veteran Success Story Videos

 Thursday, September 24, 9 a.m. EST – “Preparing for a stronger tomorrow: Recovery, Adaptation, and Innovation

Day’s events include:
Panel Discussion Series -  Strength, Learning to Pivot and Innovate
Mid-day Sessions - The Business Landscape of today and Federal and Local Resources to Empower Small Businesses


Take It Outside Campaign

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Governor Raimondo announced $1 million in funding available to assist businesses and organizations participating in the Take it Outside Initiative, a statewide effort encouraging outdoor activities in an effort to reduce the transmission rate of COVID-19. Intermediary organizations may apply for up to $150,000 to fund the cost of expenses associated with the expansion of business to outdoor spaces—such as making use of closed streets, sidewalks, and parking lots—to increase commerce while staying healthier outside.

Funds may also be used to cover the cost of purchasing or installing items such as chairs, tables, heat lamps, tents, outdoor WiFi systems, or other services necessary to increase outdoor opportunities. Funds may also be used to cover the cost of purchasing, obtaining, or installing, items such as chairs, tables, heat lamps, tents, outdoor WiFi systems, or other services that necessary to increase outdoor opportunities.

Click Here For More Information

Small Business Assistance Survey

Let us hear from you!

This week, a survey was sent out to our partner organizations about how best to continue to support the Rhode Island small business community as we move forward.  If you did not receive a link to this survey from a chamber of commerce or business association, please take 2 minutes to complete this brief, 6 question survey.

Receiving responses to this survey is crucial to our understanding the needs of small businesses around the state, and allows us to assist with all of the tools and resources at our disposal.  We understand that every business’s situation is unique, and we want to hear from all of you.

Click Here To Take Survey

Go Global with Help from the SBA

Take Your Business Global Information Session

Thursday, September 24th | 2:00-3:00pm EDT

  • Join SBA's Office of International Trade's Associate Administrator Loretta Greene for a celebration interview with SBA's 2020 Exporter of the Year. Hear how they are finding success in the global marketplace in the face of COVID-19.
  • Get the latest information on the CARES Act implications for small business exporters and learn about SBA’s new Fast Track Service for exporters and businesses in the global supply chain.
  • Learn how SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) is assisting businesses reach new global markets during these challenging times.
  • Discover how SBA’s export finance programs can help your business grow from Mary Hernandez, SBA Export Finance Manager for Southern Florida.


Can’t attend live? You should still register! We will be sending out a link to the recording after the webinar to all registrants.

Register Here

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