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

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is working with the CDC to track confirmed and potential cases throughout the state. To view the State’s COVID-19 data portal, please click here.

Please Note: If you believe you’ve contracted COVID-19, please visit the Rhode Island Department of Health website here to find out how to schedule a consultation and test.

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.

Business Resources

The Town of Bristol has established a COVID-19 Business Task Force to help connect businesses with available disaster resources. For more information, please contact Bristol’s Economic Development Coordinator at A list of assistance programs is also available below.


Restore RI is a Rhode Island Commerce business assistance program targeted at businesses that have been most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Eligible businesses can receive grants of up to $30,000. To learn more about the application process, please follow the link below.

*Update: On October 14th, 2020, CommerceRI announced guidance allowing more businesses to qualify for funding.

Bristol Take It Outside Program

The Town of Bristol has partnered with the Bristol Merchants Association (BMA) to supply businesses with outdoor equipment including heating lamps, tents, and string lights. The Town of Bristol has established an application process for businesses to request equipment.

Microenterprise Stabilization Grant Program (MicroE)

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.

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.


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

Business Recovery Survey

The Town of Bristol is collecting information from its businesses, non-profits, and art groups to help support our community’s recovery efforts.

Virtual Consultations

Bristol’s Economic Development Coordinator is available for consultations through the Zoom video conference platform. Bristol’s team will connect businesses with available resources.

COVID-19 Property Tax Deferral

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

Event Rescheduling

Has your community event been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis? Bristol will help you reschedule your event.

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.

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:

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.

Face Mask Guidelines– RI DBR has released a guideline fact sheet for businesses whose employees are required to wear face coverings.

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

COVID-19 Medical Supplies Donations

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

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.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The PPP program provides cash-flow assistance through a 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain payroll during the COVID-19 emergency. This program is for small businesses with fewer than 500 employees and the maximum loan amount is $10 million. The loan can be used for business operating cost such as workforce (group health benefits, pay, sick leave, and local and state taxes assessed on employee compensation, etc.); utilities, rent and other costs. The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). The program guide can be viewed here.

*Update: The SBA has closed the PPP Loan program for new applications as of August 8th, 2020.

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 below or on the RIDOH website.

Resident Resources

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.