Important COVID-19 Resources for businesses:
Please see this document for more resources for businesses.
The United Way of Rhode Island will continue to provide their 211 service to those in need and will be opening their COVID-19 Response Fund for non-profits looking to help the community during the COVID-19 epidemic. Please click here for more information and to be linked to the United Way website.
CDC Resources for Businesses:
The CDC offers some resources for businesses on how to disinfect their buildings and areas as well as other business guidance here.
Commerce RI provides resources for Rhode Island Businesses here.
Small Business Association:
The US Small Business Association has resources here including loans and guidance.
Pay it Forward Live:
"Pay It Forward Live" - a small business grant program from Verizon managed by LISC
Verizon has made $2.5 million available to small businesses facing immediate financial threat because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will go to make grants of up to $10,000, especially to entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically under-served places who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital. The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will make the grants available.
For more information go to: https://www.lisc.org/our-stories/story/verizon-and-lisc-fire-25-million-small-business-covid-19-recovery-fund.
Small Business Stabilization:
The Small Business Stabilization Program - A grant of up to $5,000 for Small Businesses
The Small Business Stabilization Program application program will open in the coming days. Applications will be processed on a first come first serve basis to small businesses with five or fewer employees where one or more of the employees owns the business. Once an application is received, it will be reviewed by Central Falls staff for conformance to the program rules and then submitted to the Rhode Island Office of Housing and Community Development for approval and funding.
· Awards will be made as grants.
· No more than one grant award shall be made to each small business and/or each small business owner.
· Award amounts shall not exceed $5,000
· Funds may be used for working capital to cover business costs, such as rent, staffing, utilities.
· Funds may not be used for equipment purchases, construction activities, or business expansion.
· The number of grants to be made is limited.
Applications will be distributed as soon as available. To insure that you get an application upon release, register for the program by clicking here. Please mark the subject line as "The Small Business Stabilization Program" and include your name, the name of the business, phone, and email.
PLEASE NOTE: All vacant commercial storefronts are required to register with the City of Central Falls. Please complete the registration form here. The enabling ordinance for this registration program is available here.
Welcome to the City of Central Falls Business Community! If you are an existing local business, we appreciate your presence and ongoing contributions to our community, and pledge to do all that we can to help you and your business grow and prosper. For those considering starting or moving a business here, we stand ready to help you navigate everything you need to know to establish your business here.
Here’s a few of the exciting developments happening in our city!
- Pawtucket Central Falls Train Station- a joint planning commission has been created and planning is underway. This is big!
Broad Street 2.0 Regeneration Initiative- Central Falls, Pawtucket, and Cumberland are the recipients of an $16.5M DOT grant to upgrade the infrastructure of Broad Street, one of our two main commercial thoroughfares that run through the City. Planning is in progress with work expected to begin in 2020 - for more information and to participate in the process, see www.mybroadstreetri.com.
- The Landing- we have broken ground on a planned new multi-use commercial and recreational center located on Broad Street on the Blackstone River right at the Central Falls-Cumberland line. The site will also house the future home of Blackstone Valley Tourism Council headquarters.
- E-permitting is here!- in August 2017 we became the latest municipality to join the statewide building and fire e-permitting platform- get started at https://centralfallsri.viewpointcloud.com/.
The City of Central Falls offers a number of new programs, resources, incentives, and initiatives to help our local businesses, including:
Economic Expansion Incentive Program
To recognize and reward additional investments in property, plant, and equipment, we encourage business owners to explore the tax benefits associated with this initiative, which rewards business owners with abatements on property and tangible tax.
The enabling ordinance available at http://bit.ly/2f43xM6
Rules and Regulations are available here.
Property tax abatement (based on real property investment) applications are available here.
Tangible tax abatement (based on job creation) applications are available here.
Rhode Island Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) Program
We have joined the new program offered through the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank offering a progressive no cash up-front 100% financing vehicle for business owners who invest in plant upgrades or new installations that are environmentally-friendly or energy efficient. The program has been recently further expanded to allow financing based on the ENTIRE project cost of the redevelopment. Personal guarantees are not required and participation in the program can be transferred to new owners should the business and property change hands. For more information, see https://ri-cpace.com/.
The Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program, administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration, fosters economic development in distressed areas by encouraging federal agencies to sign contracts with businesses located in HUBZones. All of Central Falls (zip code 02863) is a HubZone- see http://map.sba.gov/hubzone/maps/#top.
More information on the program can be found here.
We have established the City of Central Falls as a formal outreach site with the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center Network (RI SBDC), who offer free, confidential, bi-lingual business advisory services, including business plan development and loan packaging. Appointments can be made on demand- See www.risbdc.org or call 401-616-2482 for more information or to make an appointment.
We have two financial institutions physically located in Central Falls- Navigant Credit Union and Bank of America, both located on Broad Street. We also maintain relationships with a number of traditional lenders nearby who serve our community, including:
- Bank Newport
- Citizens Bank
- Coastway Community Bank
- Pawtucket Credit Union
- Santander Bank
- TD Bank
- Webster Bank
We also maintain relationships with a number of alternative lenders, most of whom are a part of Commerce RI’s Small Business Funding Assistance Program. These include:
- Accion USA
- Business Development Company of Rhode Island (BDC of RI)
- Southeastern Economic Development Corporation (SEED)
- Community Investment Corporation (CIC)
- Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE)
- RI Capital Corporation
- BDC Capital
- BDC of New England (including Goldman Sachs 10K Small Businesses)
Let us help you find the capital you need to start or grow your business!
Commerce RI Financial Programs
We work closely with RI Commerce, a state agency that offers various financial, support, and industry-specific programs for businesses. To start reviewing their menu of programs and services, see http://commerceri.com/.
Other Business Resources
Our Department of Planning and Economic Development maintains numerous partnerships, alliances, and relationships to help our business community. These include:
Chambers and Business Associations
- Business Owners Meetings- Central Falls-based business owners (new and old) are welcome to join the bi-monthly Central Falls Business Owners Meeting hosted by Navigant Credit Union at 693 Broad Street. These gatherings feature networking, special speakers and forums of interest to the community, and usually take place on Wednesday evenings from 6-8PM. For announcements regarding the next session, see https://www.facebook.com/pg/NavigantCreditUnion/posts/.
- Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce- well established chamber serving Northern Rhode Island communities, including Central Falls, Pawtucket, Cumberland, Lincoln, North Smithfield, and more. See http://www.nrichamber.com/.
- Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of RI- newly re-constituted in 2017, this group represents a coalition of Latino-owned small businesses. See http://www.rihispanicchamber.org/about-us.html.
- Fuerza Laboral /POWER Network- grass roots organization leading the way in establishing workers’ cooperatives in Rhode Island. See https://www.fuerza-laboral.org/about.
Other Business Resources and Alliances
- Hope & Main - food incubator
- Social Enterprise Greenhouse - entrepreneurial training and co-working
- RI Manufacturing Association - industry associations
- RI Hospitality Association- industry associations
- Pawtucket Central Falls Development
- Grow Smart RI
- Pawtucket Foundation
- Rhode Island Foundation
- South Side Community Land Trust
- Progreso Latino
- Blackstone Valley Tourism Council
- Blackstone River Watershed Council / Friends of the Blackstone
Financial Literacy Resources
In addition to the financial literacy series offered by the City of Central Falls Department of Planning and Economic Development, here are other resources who offer training and special programs focusing on financial self-sufficiency, housing, home ownership, and credit-building, and other needs:
- Central Falls Housing Authority
- Community Care Alliance
- Connecting For Children and Family
- Junior Achievement RI
- Money Management International
- Pawtucket Central Falls Development Corporation
- Progreso Latino
- United Way of Rhode Island
Training and Workforce Development
- SER- Jobs For Progress - adult and youth job skills training- technology, communications, organizational (cultural workplace literacy), and financial training (literacy).
- SnapChef - culinary training including basic kitchen skills and short-term job opportunities
- Harvest Kitchen - culinary training for youth including basic kitchen skills and short-term job opportunities
- Progreso Latino
- Greater Workforce Board of Rhode Island
Official Meetings Schedule (held at City Hall, Council Chambers, 580 Broad Street, Central Falls, RI 02863)