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Rhode Island State Funding Programs

Rhode Island’s state programs for businesses are coordinated through the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, a quasi-public agency offering resources, programs, incentives, and other support. 

Financing options include:

  • Mortgage insurance: Offered through the Rhode Island Industrial Recreational Building Authority, insures up to $5 million to assist with the down payment on purchases of equipment, machinery, real estate, or tourist/travel recreation projects.
  • Renewable Energy Fund: Provides grants for renewable energy developments including small scale projects, commercial scale projects, and community renewables.
  • Small Business Assistance Program: Assists those who have trouble obtaining credit through traditional lenders, with a focus on women- and minority-owned businesses. The program works with partner organizations to offer loans of $1,000 to $750,000.
  • Small Business Loan Fund: Offers up to $500,000 per loan to existing manufacturers, processors, and certain service businesses to use as working capital. The program anticipates that recipients will create at least one job for every $50,000 they borrow, and higher loan amounts are available to finance the acquisition of buildings, equipment, or land.
  • Tax exempt and taxable bonds: Issued through the Rhode Island Industrial Facilities Corporation, tax-exempt bonds finance up to 100 percent of a manufacturing project with a limit of $10 million per project. Taxable bonds are also available to finance fixed commercial assets such as buildings and equipment. 

Tax Credit Programs

  • Qualified Jobs Incentive Tax Credit: Offers up to $7,500 per job per year to employers who expand their workforce in Rhode Island or relocate to the state. The redeemable credits are available annually for up to 10 years.
  • Rebuild Rhode Island Tax Credit: Covers 20-30 percent of real estate project costs when a developer is unable to raise sufficient funding. This program may only be available to projects of a certain size or cost, typically $5 million or more. Approved projects can also be exempted from certain sales taxes.
  • Tax Increment Financing: Provides a rebate of a portion of the state tax revenue to be generated by a project, up to 30 percent of total project costs or 75 percent of incremental revenue generated. The rebate is only available to projects that can demonstrate a need through a financing gap.

Incentive Programs

  • Energy incentives: The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources oversees several programs that can help businesses cover the costs of developing renewable energy systems
  • Export Promotional Grants: Assist businesses in covering the costs involved in exporting their goods or services, including participation in foreign trade missions and international trade shows, international marketing costs, and U.S. Department of Commerce export services
  • Industry Cluster Grants: Fund the planning and organization of an industry-specific cluster, or support the implementation of research and development, workforce development, or other initiatives to strengthen a cluster.
  • Innovation Network Matching Grants: Offered to organizations that expand efforts to offer technical assistance, space on flexible terms, and/or capital access to Rhode Island small businesses in key industries
  • Innovation Voucher Program: Available to Rhode Island manufacturers with 500 or fewer employees, this program offers grants of $50,000 to fund internal research and development projects. The grants can be used for commercialization of a new product or service, scale-to-market development of an idea, or access to scientific, engineering, and design expertise.
  • Science and Technology Grants: The Rhode Island Science and Technology Council manages a variety of funding to support small businesses undertaking science and technology initiatives, including grants to support SBIR/STTR applicants or recipients, offset internship costs, and support collaborative research.