Administration COVID-19 Economic Development Press Releases

Town Administrator Announces Local Business Relief Measures


Date: Friday, April 3rd, 2020 

Contact: Chris Vitale, Economic Development Coordinator | (401) 253-7000 

BRISTOL, RI-On Friday, April 3, 2020, Bristol Town Administrator Steven Contente and Economic Development Coordinator Chris Vitale made several announcements related to local business support. Through Executive Order 20-05: 

  1. The Town of Bristol has established a COVID-19 Business Task Force to connect businesses with State and Federal resources available. 
  2. Local Property Tax Relief: Taxpayers can request a 90-day deferral of local real estate taxes due May 15, 2020. During this deferral period, late fees and interest charges will be waived. A taxpayer’s primary residence or properties associated with a small business, including vacation rentals are eligible for waivers. For more information, please contact the Bristol Tax Assessor’s Office at (401)-253-7000. 
  3. Business Licensing Fee Relief: The Town of Bristol will waive renewal fees for town-issued business licenses that are set to expire during the local State of Emergency.  
  4. Suspending Plastic Bag Ordinance: To protect the health and safety of essential business employees and shoppers, the Town is temporarily suspending Part IV, Chapter 24, Article V of the Bristol Town Code for the duration of the local State of Emergency. This will allow operational flexibility for businesses and reduce handling of customer’s reusable bags by workers during the public health crisis. 
  5. Town-Owned Business Incubator Relief: Rent collection for Town-owned incubator spaces are suspended until June 1st, 2020. Rent due for April and May will be deferred but not waived. Any rent which has been deferred must be repaid in full by October 1, 2020. 

“Throughout this crisis, most local businesses have seen a decrease or halt in revenue. It’s my hope that today’s emergency measures help reduce some anxiety,” said Town Administrator Steven Contente. “The Town will continue to advocate for businesses that are applying for State and Federal assistance and help in anyway that it can.” 

These policies take effect immediately and remain in full force through the duration of the local State of Emergency. 

Beginning Monday, April 6, 2020, the Town of Bristol will be adding additional resources/services on its website including:  

  • Business Impact Survey: The Town of Bristol will be collecting information from its businesses, non-profits, and art groups to determine the effects of COVID-19 to date. Bristol’s Business Impact Survey will assist municipal staff and community partners in their economic recovery efforts. 
  • Virtual Consultations: Bristol’s Economic Development Coordinator will be available for consultations through the Zoom video conference platform. The Town can help connect businesses with available State and Federal resources.  
  • Public Event Planning: If your community event has or will been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, the Town of Bristol will assist with rescheduling to later this year. 
  • Program Overviews and Guides: The Town of Bristol will provide information on available State and Federal business assistance programs. 

For the latest local information, please visit Bristol’s COVID-19 fact page here.