This afternoon, Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner released a set of recommendations to help Rhode Island small businesses and their employees recover. The Treasurer outlined his set of recommendations while testifying in front of the House Committee on Small Business.
"Small businesses are the heart of Rhode Island's economy and our quality of life. Today, at the House Committee on Small Business, I shared the work that our office is doing to help small businesses in this challenging time, and presented recommendations for how our state government can take bold action to help small businesses recover and thrive," said Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner. "By using stimulus funds to launch a new grant program for existing small businesses, expanding unemployment insurance to cover Rhode Islanders launching new businesses, better supporting women and entrepreneurs of color, and providing budget-friendly tax relief, we can help small businesses start and restart, and we can put thousands of Rhode Islanders back to work."
During the Committee hearing, Treasurer Magaziner outlined the following recommendations to help small businesses recover and thrive: 1. Provide recovery grants to Rhode Island small businesses in hardest-hit industries. 2. Establish a state PPP for new businesses and businesses that had to close down due to COVID-19. Loans through this PPP would be forgiven if used for eligible expenses related to the starting or restarting of a business. 3. Enact a Self-Employment Assistance Program to allow individuals to earn unemployment benefits while starting a new business. 4. Allow penalty-free extensions on certain tax payments until social distancing guidelines are relieved. 5. Establish free tax consultations for new businesses. 6. Increase awarding of State contracts of Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) by establishing separate, more ambitious targets for MBEs and WBEs. 7. Create a centralized Rhode Island Small Business Resource Center to provide comprehensive information and counseling on all aspects of how to start and grow a small business in Rhode Island.
Treasurer Magaziner's highest priority as General Treasurer is to support job creation and economic opportunity for all Rhode Islanders. During the pandemic, Treasurer Magaziner worked with local banks and credit unions to encourage them to provide federal forgivable PPP loans to any eligible Rhode Island small business, his BankLOCAL program provided access to capital for Rhode Island small businesses in need of additional support, and he launched a program to return missing money (unclaimed property) to small businesses for an extra boost during this difficult financial time.