COVID-19

Overview

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19 (formerly referred to as 2019 Novel Coronavirus or 2019-nCoV) is a respiratory virus that was first identified in Wuhan, China in December of 2019. 

The developments associated with COVID-19 are rapidly evolving, and the Town of Bristol will continue to provide residents and businesses with information on this webpage.

COVID-19 Vaccination Information
COVID-19 Vaccination Information

Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccination process for residents.

COVID-19 Testing Information
COVID-19 Testing Information

Learn more about scheduling a Rapid or PCR COVID-19 Test locally.

COVID-19 Data Portal

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is working with the CDC to track confirmed and potential cases throughout the state.

COVID-19 Guidance

Review the latest safety guidance on the COVID-19 virus.

Business Resources

The Town of Bristol has established a listing to help connect businesses with available COVID-19 disaster resources. For more information, please contact Bristol’s Economic Development Coordinator at [email protected].

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – First & Second PPP Draw

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on their payroll. Borrowers may be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness.

SBA is currently offering PPP loans until May 31, 2021. President Biden announced program changes to make access to PPP loans more equitable.

First Draw PPP Loans can be used to help fund payroll costs, including benefits, and may also be used to pay for mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, uninsured property damage costs caused by looting or vandalism during 2020, and certain supplier costs and expenses for operations.

Certain businesses are now eligible to apply for a second round of funding. Second Draw PPP Loans can be used to help fund payroll costs, including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay for mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, uninsured property damage costs caused by looting or vandalism during 2020, and certain supplier costs and expenses for operations.

For more information on the maximum loan amount and eligibility, please click here.

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.

Bristol Take It Outside Program – (Complimentary Propane Available)

The Town of Bristol partnered with the Bristol Merchants Association (BMA) to supply businesses with outdoor equipment including heating lamps, tents, string lights, and propane. Propane is currently being offered to all businesses with outdoor tent heaters/patio heaters.

Temporary Outdoor Dining Expansion “Eat Out Zone” Program

To promote safe public access to restaurants and local businesses, Bristol Town Administrator Steven Contente signed Executive Order 20-09, which authorized the creation of temporary eat out zones.

Beginning Monday, May 18th, 2020, restaurants with a Temporary Outdoor Dining Expansion Permit will be able to temporarily expand their outdoor service areas into select town sidewalks and adjacent public or private spaces. 
Permits will be issued to interested businesses anywhere in the Town and do not have any application or permit fees. For convenience, the Town has made the permit application available through Viewpoint Cloud. To apply, please follow the link below.

To request use of State sidewalks, please complete the RIDOT application below.
Download

ReopeningRI

The State of Rhode Island has created a website that outlines the latest phase-in reopening timeline & mandates for businesses.

State of Rhode Island COVID-19 Support

Commerce Rhode Island has established a COVID-19 site that includes a comprehensive list of State services being offered to businesses impacted by the coronavirus crisis. Services include:

On-Site Business Testing Program– This program provides Rhode Island businesses with rapid COVID-19 test kits and the training they need so they can conduct regular testing of employees.

Free Tax Assistance– The RI Society of CPAs has volunteered to provide free consultative support through their network of consultants as well as additional CPA assistance, if needed, to businesses and organizations that are the recipients of RI Commerce grants. 

Free Tech Support– CommerceRI will assist businesses with getting set up for remote/online operations. Support is done through individual 45-minute video sessions.

Superior Court Business Recovery Plan– The court will use a non-liquidating receivership model so they can remain operational, access new working capital, and pay debts.

Gift it Forward– Register your business so residents can easily find you and shop online.

Call 401-521-HELP for more information, or follow the link to the right.

Shop Local Rhode Island

Rhode Island Commerce has partnered with Visual Thrive, the creators of ShopLocalRhodeIsland.com, to promote in-state businesses to Rhode Islanders. It is free to participate and to be listed in the directory.

EastBayRI Open Businesses

East Bay Media Group is maintaining a list of restaurants and businesses that are open or have adjusted hours of operation. Businesses are encouraged to add their listing to the East Bay RI website using the link below.

COVID-19 Medical Supplies Donations

The Rhode Island Department of Health is seeking Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) donations.

Microenterprise Stabilization Grant Program (MicroE) – (CLOSED)

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. Learn more about the program eligibility and details.

The deadline to submit an application was April 29th, 2021 at 4:00 PM.

Rhode Island Small Business Relief Grant Program (CLOSED)

The Rhode Island Small Business Relief Grant Program provided grants of $5,000 for Rhode Island small businesses that have suffered financially due to COVID-19. Grant funds may be used to pay for: 
-Wages and/or salaries of employees to avoid furloughs or layoffs; 
-Operational costs incurred to enable the business to remain open through the state of emergency; or  
-Facilitating the reopening of the business if the business was unable to remain open for a portion of the state of
emergency.

The deadline to submit an application was Friday, April 30, 2021, at 5:00 PM. 

Remote Work Implementation Grant Program (CLOSED)

The Remote Work Grant Program was designed to help Rhode Island businesses move their employees safely to remote work during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. The deadline to submit an application was Friday, December 18th, at 11:59 PM.

Department of Revenue – Restaurant & Bar Grants – (CLOSED)

The State announced that the Department of Revenue will provide restaurants & bars grants between $2000-$10,000 due to hours of operation restrictions set in Executive Order 20-95 (November 5th, 2020).

Department of Revenue – Rhode Island on Pause Grants – (CLOSED)

On November 25, 2020 Governor Gina Raimondo announced the Grant Program for Rhode Island on Pause for businesses affected by Governor’s Executive Order – Rhode Island on Pause which imposes further restrictions intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Grants are up to $50,000. More information on eligibility and applying can be found using the link below. Read the overview here.

Artist Relief Grant Fund – (CLOSED)

The Artist Relief Fund was created to help Rhode Island artists who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund had a deadline of December 15th, 2020. Awards were in the amount of $800 with a total of 300 expected recipients. For more information on the program, please use the link below.

RestoreRI – (CLOSED)

Restore RI was a Rhode Island Commerce business assistance program targeted at businesses that have been most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Eligible businesses could receive grants of up to $30,000.

*Update: The Restore RI Grant Program is no longer accepting new applications. Applications that have already been received will be reviewed for eligibility and completion. Restore RI adjustment requests will be accepted until Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 at 5:00 PM.

Business Adaptation Grant – (CLOSED)

The Business Adaptation Grant Program was targeted at companies with business models (products and/or services) that have been dramatically constrained and significantly impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic. The program was designed to support affected businesses in adapting their business models and/or operations in substantial ways. Eligible businesses were able to receive up to $50,000.

COVID-19 Property Tax Deferral – (CLOSED)

Authorized under Bristol Executive Order 20-05, residential and commercial property owners could have requested a 90-day waiver for local property tax late fees and interest for payments due May 15th, 2020. For more information, please email to [email protected].

Cares Act

For your convenience, the Town of Bristol has provided the guide to the federally passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security(CARES) Act here. An overview of the main programs under the new federal stimulus package are listed below:

SBA Disaster Loan Program SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EDIL) / Emergency Grants

In response to COVID-19, the U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering economic injury as a result of the pandemic.

*Update: The SBA is accepting new EIDL applications on a limited basis for qualifying small businesses, non-profits, and U.S. agricultural businesses. The EIDL Advance is no longer available.

SBA Express Bridge Loans

This program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.

SBA Debt Relief

The Small Business Administration will cover all loan payments on these SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months. This relief will also be available to new borrowers who take out loans within six months of the law going into effect.

Federal Tax Filing and Payment Deferral

The federal government provided 90 additional days to pay income taxes due (up to $1 million in taxes owed). During this deferral period, taxpayers would not be subject to interest and penalties.  

The tax deadline for paying taxes due was extended from 4/15/2020 to 7/15/2020.

Latest News & Announcements

Local Updates


State Updates

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is leading the State’s COVID-19 response efforts. The latest information, guidance, and mandates issued by the State are available on the RIDOH website.

Resident Resources

RentReliefRI

Rhode Island has received $200 million in rent relief funds from the federal Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program. This program will provide rental and utility relief payments to help eligible renters maintain housing stability.

COVID-19 Test Portal

The State of Rhode Island has established a website to schedule a COVID-19 test and view test results.

RI Delivers

The State of Rhode Island has established a website with information on local organizations that can assist with grocery, medication and meal delivery.

COVID-19 Fact Page

The CDC has created a fact page to provide residents with information COVID-19.

Mental Health Service Hotline

During this difficult time, the State of Rhode Island wants all residents to know they can call into the mental health hotline. This hotline is available 24/7.

RIHousing Services

RIHousing offers homeowners, homebuyers, and renters resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Safe Harbor Housing Program – United Way

Are you a tenant behind on your rent because of COVID-19?
Are you a landlord whose tenants need help getting back on their feet?
Safe Harbor is an eviction diversion initiative designed to help Rhode Island landlords and tenants resolve disputes over late or unpaid rent without having to go through the traditional court process.

FAQs