Resources for RI Designers & Design Businesses During COVID-19
Resources for RI Designers & Design Businesses During COVID-19
DESIGNxRI is here for the design community with resources, opportunities, relevant events and inspiration so we can all get through this together. As a creative, solution-oriented community, we will no doubt be part of helping our society deal with this challenge, and emerge with more innovation and even deeper bonds.
Updates as of 4.24.20
DESIGNxRI held the first Designer Dialogue titled COVID-19 Business Impact and Relief Opportunities with a special guest from Rhode Island Commerce. To view a copy of the presentation click here. To watch the webinar click here.
New grant opportunities are coming available everyday and we are doing our best to make sure you know about them.
Microenterprise Stabilization Grant Program is designed to assist small businesses that have been impacted and left out of federal stimulus programs to date. The program provides grants of up to $5,000 click here to read more.
LISC Small Business Relief Grants aim to support small businesses and enterprises affected, especially those in underservevd communities. Applications must be submitted by April 28th click here to read more.
AIGA has created a resource hub for job seekers, freelance designers, educators, students, business owners and more. Check it out.
The Providence Business Loan Fund (PBLF) is providing up to $1.5 million in capital to Providence based businesses impacted. These loans are zero interest for up to 12 months. Click here to read more.
Department of Labor and Training
- Unemployment Insurance for those who have been laid off, independent contractors or those who are unable to work because of COVID-19.
- Workshare allows you to reduce labor hours while maintaining all employees.
- Rhode Island offers several tax credits to help businesses invest, grow, offer apprenticeships and hire new employees.
- Be sure to also take a look at DLT’s Unemployment Insurance Fact Sheet and Workplace Fact Sheet.
- Still have questions? Contact DLT at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-462-2020
Small Business Administration
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for businesses with 500 or less employees including 501c(3) nonprofits, startups, self-employed and cooperatives is designed to cover the cost of retaining employees and has a forgiveness component that requires keeping employees on the payroll.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) - A disaster loan program offered by our partners at the Small Business Administration (SBA)
- Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who have a relationship with the SBA to access money quickly and are repaid in full or part by proceeds from the EIDL loan.
- Bridge loans for micro-businesses with 1-10 employees who need immediate cash while waiting on SBA funds.
- SBA Debt Relief is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Still have questions? Contact SBA RI at RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov or 401-874-7232
US Chamber of Commerce / Commerce RI
- Employee Retention Tax Credit for employers who are closed, partially closed or experiencing significant revenue loss as a result of COVID-19. Employers who receive a PPP loan are not eligible for a tax credit.
- US Chamber of Commerce created this helpful Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist.
- Commerce RI offers a free small business helpline at 401-521-HELP or you can contact them at email@example.com
- Commerce RI has also created this helpful COVID-19 Resources FAQ.
Other Local Sources
- Providence Businesses can apply for the Providence Business Loan Fund.
- Businesses in East Providence can apply to the Job Retention Loan Program or the Small Business Assistance Loan from the East Providence Development Commission.
- Businesses in Pawtucket can apply for a low interest loan from the Pawtucket Business Development Corporation.
- For a more detailed description of the CARES act, see this blog post.
- The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts has established an artist relief fund.
- Rhode Island Foundation/United Way Response Fund is set up with grants for RI nonprofit organizations at the forefront of COVID-19.
- Your Friends in New York Business Relief Fund is designed to provide temporary relief to creative-based businesses owned and operated by minorities and women.
- The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation donated $5 million to support female entrepreneurs in the wake of COVID-19 through The Red Backpack Fund
- NEW! The Microenterprise Stabilization Grant and other great opportunities are listed on this site.
- If and when there’s a need out there, and we want to help put you front and center. Take this survey to be listed. Tell us about your talents and your availability. We’ll then spread the word about this list and help make the connections.
- Follow AIGA’s weekly Design Job Listings
- Remote Design Jobs
- Design Remotely
- Working Nomads
- Take a look through the Remote Design Kit google doc, a crowdsourced resource for designers to get work related to the coronavirus outbreak.
Free Digital Tools including Video Conferencing for RI Businesses and designers
- Microsoft has agreed to provide their Office 365 E1 program for free for six months to all RI employers. Click here to learn more.
- Cisco is offering free WebEx video conferencing and a remote-work adoption toolkit to help guide businesses in their transition to working at home.
- Google is offering free access to their Hangouts Meet, another video conferencing system, for all of their GSuite and GSuite education customers.
- Schools and school districts can contact Zoom and the company will lift their 40-minute meeting limit on their free basic accounts.
- Adobe is offering students free “at-home” access to Creative Cloud access while campuses are closed.
- Adobe is also offering free 90-day access to Adobe Connect, their web-conferencing solution, until July 1, 2020
- Tune into Adobe’s Creative Summit on March 31, which will now be online and free.
- AIGA members at the Sustaining level will receive 40% off an annual premium subscription to Skillshare. New AIGA members, at any level, receive 2 months free.
Remote Working Resources
- Coronavirus Could Force Teams to Work Remotely, Harvard Business Review
- 4 Ways to Manage Remote Workers When You Don’t Know How Long They’ll Be Working From Home, Fast Company
- 7 Tips for Effectively Managing Remote Teams, Inc.
Resources by Industry:
- Rhode Island Manufacturers Association has resource links on their website.
- American Architects Association has resources on this dedicated page.
- American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) has provided resources for teaching graphic designers on their website.
- AIGA also posted this huge list of what we as a community can do to help each other and ourselves!
- American Society of Interior Design (ASID) has a letter from the CEO here that provides an update.
- American Society of Landscape Architecture (ASLA) has provided an update from their CEO here.