COVID-19 MicroEnterprise Grants

The Rhode Island Office of Housing & Community Development (OHCD) has made Community Development Bock Grant (CDBG) funding available for grants of up to $5,000 to qualifying small (Micro) businesses owned by low or moderate income individuals. Applicants may use the grant funds for working capital to cover business operating expenses such as: rent, staffing and utilities. Funds cannot be used for major equipment purchases, buying land or buildings, construction or expansion activities, or political lobbying.

The application process for this grant program will be run through the South Kingstown Planning Department.  All applications and supporting documentation must be filed with the Planning Department for review. 

The program’s basic eligibility criteria and exclusions are described below and application materials are attached. If you have questions please feel free to contact Senior Planner Brian Wagner in the Planning Department by phone at (401) 789-9331 x1241 or by email at

NOTE:  If you find yourself disqualified due to the eligibility criteria, please let us know and we will relay the information to the state.  This information could be used to tailor future relief programs.

Eligibility Criteria

In order to be eligible to receive a CDBG MicroEnterprise Grant, the business MUST:
  • Be a for-profit business entity physically located in the Town of South Kingstown. (You do not need to live in South Kingstown, but your business must have a physical location in town.);
  • Employ no more than 5 people, including the business owner(s);
  • Be operated by an applicant-owner who qualifies as a low or moderate income individual based on their family income (see the income table, below).  Note - Your family income is determined based on the town that you live in. If you do not live in South Kingstown please check with us to see if different income limits apply to you;
  • Have annual gross revenues greater than $25,000;
  • Have been in business for at least one full tax year (i.e. since before January 1, 2019);
  • Be able to document at least $1,000 of lost income due to the COVID-19 emergency; and
  • Be in good standing with the State of Rhode Island and Town of South Kingstown. (E.g. no outstanding taxes; all licenses; no ongoing litigation with town or state.)

80% Family Income Limit for South Kingstown

No. of Family Members:
Gross Family Income: $48,750 $55,700 62,650 $69,600 $75,200 $80,750 $86,350 $91,900

Definition of "Family" and "Income"

A "FAMILY" is defined as a group of persons residing together, and any dependent children living outside of the home. Family types include, but are not limited to: a family with or without children, an elderly family; a near-elderly family; a disabled family; a displaced family; a co-habitating couple; a multi-generational family. An individual living in a housing unit that contains no other person(s) related to him/her is considered to be a one-person family for this purpose.

​"INCOME is defined as the total annual gross income of all family members 18+ years old. All sources of income must be counted, and based on anticipated income expected within the next 12 months. Income includes all money coming into the family from all persons aged 18 or older. Wages, self-employment wages, business income, TANF, alimony, Social Security benefits, pensions, child support, and regular gifts of money from friends, family or a church must be included. Money earned from providing services, and interest from bank accounts or investments must be included.

Excluded Businesses

The following businesses are excluded from participating in the MicroEnterprise grant program:
  • Liquor stores;
  • Cannabis-related businesses;
  • Firearms and weapons dealers;
  • Real estate rental/sales businesses;
  • Home-based businesses with no employees;
  • Franchise or chain businesses;
  • Political lobbying businesses;
  • Independent contractors/consultants that provide services to a single client; and
  • Home-based businesses that are age-restricted to patrons under 18 years of age.
  • Businesses owned by persons who are under the age of 18.

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