Microenterprise Stabilization Grant Program


* June 2020 Update: Businesses with one owner/employee only may apply. Businesses that received EIDL and/or PPP funds may apply, as long as the adverse impacts on the business exceed other assistance by at least $5,000. Businesses opened in 2019 that meet all other eligibility criteria may apply.

The Town of Bristol, with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds provided by the R. I. Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is offering working capital grants to qualifying small business microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19.

Eligible Businesses: Certain types of microenterprises are eligible. A microenterprise is defined as a commercial enterprise that has five or fewer employees, one or more of whom owns the enterprise.

The microenterprise owner’s gross annual family income may not exceed the applicable threshold below, based on family size and city/town where you live (not where your business is located).

FY2020 Mod/Low Income (80%) Limit
Household Size:
Income Limit:

Businesses must meet the following eligibility criteria:

1. Be a microenterprise, as defined above

2. Be owned by low- or moderate-income person(s) (≤80% of the Area Median Income, based on family size)

3. Be a for-profit entity (sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, or LLCs)

4. Have a physical establishment in the Town of Bristol

5. Provide goods or services to multiple clients or customers

6. Be in good standing with the Town of Bristol

a. Be current on all taxes due through 3/1/2020

b. Active and valid state licenses/registrations, if applicable

c. Not a party to litigation involving the state or Town of Bristol

7. Be able to document a loss of income of at least $1,000 due to COVID-19

8. Have been established prior to 12/31/2019

9. Have annual gross revenues greater than $25,000

10. Have at least two employees, including the owner(s)

11. Not be listed under the excluded business types, as amended (see below)

Please Note: Due to the limited program funding available, priority for grant awards will be given to businesses that:
1. Have the greatest number of employees; and
2. Have been in operation for the longest period of time

Required Documents: Applicants must submit all application forms, and supporting documents, including copies of:

  • Driver’s License or State-Issued Photo ID
  • Personal tax returns for all adults filing separately (2018 or 2019)
  • Business tax returns (2018 or 2019)
  • Copies of payrolls for most recent pay period and pay period ending on/before 3/7/2020
  • Copies of receipts for impacted period in 2020 (e.g. March), and same period in 2018, 2019

Grant Amounts: $5,000 grants will be disbursed via a single lump-sum payment to approved, eligible microenterprises.

Uses of Funds: Funds may be used for working capital to cover business costs, such as rent, staffing, and utilities. MicroE funds may not be used for major equipment purchases, purchase of real property, construction activities, business expansion, or lobbying.

Excluded Business Types: The following business types are excluded from participating in this program:

  • cannabis-related businesses;
  • real estate rentals/sales businesses;
  • home-based businesses with no employees;
  • businesses owned by persons under age 18;
  • businesses that are franchises or chains;
  • liquor stores;
  • weapons/firearms dealers;
  • lobbyists;
  • persons operating as independent consultants/contractors and providing services to a single entity;
  • home-based businesses that are restricted to patrons below the age of 18;

Microenterprises owned by students age 18+ are generally ineligible, unless the student owner is the sole means of financial support for other family members.

Application Material and Submission Details

Application documentation can be downloaded below. After completing your application, please contact Chris Vitale, Economic Development Coordinator at cvitale@bristolri.gov to schedule a phone screening. 

  1. Application (English)
  2. Application (Spanish)
  3. Application (Portuguese)