Small Business Development Center Project Receives $4 Million Federal Boost

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PROVIDENCE — The nonprofit Skills for the Future Rhode Island received $4 million in CARES Act funding Tuesday to help create the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center.

The business center will provide services to small businesses across the state, including human resources, legal, finance, accounting and marketing, and support business operations in Bristol, Kent, Newport counties , Providence and Washington. The grant is expected to help leverage $10 million in private investment, create 500 jobs and retain 800 jobs, according to an EDA press release.

“Small businesses employ more than half of Rhode Island’s workforce in our 39 cities and towns and have been at the forefront of our state’s economic recovery. We know challenges persist because of the pandemic, which is why these CARES Act dollars will be so vital,” Governor Daniel J. McKee said.

The grant is from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and is funded through the CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which provides financial assistance to help communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic . The $4 million federal prize will be matched with $1.2 million in local funds.

“President Biden is committed to ensuring our communities have the resources they need to diversify and grow their economies,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “The Rhode Island Small Business Development Hub will provide disadvantaged small businesses and entrepreneurs with the resources they need to create jobs and promote economic resilience in the region.”

“The new Rhode Island Small Business Development Hub will provide much-needed resources to our small businesses and entrepreneurs – some of whom are still recovering from the pandemic and others who are looking to pursue their dreams and open a business,” the U.S. Representative said. David. Cicilline, DR.I. “I am excited to see the growth, well-paying jobs, and diversified economy that this federal funding will help create and will continue to work in Congress to provide our small businesses and entrepreneurs with the support they need to thrive.”

This story will be updated.

Claudia Chiappa is a staff writer for PBN. You can contact her at Chiappa@PBN.com.

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