Providence announces Small Business Grant Program

Mayor Elorza, Community Partners Announce Small Business Grant Program

Program Calling for Applications from Design Driven Small Businesses in the City of Providence

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge Elorza Friday joined community partners from Rhode Island School of Design, DESIGNxRI and Social Enterprise Greenhouse to announce Providence Design Catalyst, a program which will provide grants up to $35,000 to design-driven small businesses in the capital city.

“Providence is deeply rooted in art and design based industries. The Providence Design Catalyst program builds on that strength by enabling small businesses to get off the ground and grow in the Creative Capital,” said Mayor Elorza. “If you run a design-driven small business in Rhode Island, Providence wants to help you succeed. I urge you to apply today.”

The program provides grants up to $35,000 for design-based small businesses that are looking to grow in Providence. The program is funded by $500,000 of federal funds available for arts and design based economic growth. The program will be administered by an advisory committee comprised of representatives of the City and partner organizations.

“Supporting Providence and Rhode Island’s capacity for innovation and creativity has been at the core of RISD’s mission since its inception. The Providence Design Catalyst is an effective way to advocate for, and invest in, a local community of designers,” said RISD President Rosanne Somerson. “RISD is pleased to continue to partner with the City of Providence and DESIGNxRI on an initiative that is well positioned to highlight the increasingly important role of art and design in fostering long-term sustained economic growth locally, nationally and globally.”

Design is one of the fastest growing sectors locally and nationally. While the City’s design talent continues to brew, sustaining and growing these creative entities is important to ensure a strong and active sector in Providence. For design businesses, access to the right resources and support to advance their business goals can have a powerful ripple effect on local employment and communities.

"Design is a critical industry sector in the City of Providence and state of Rhode Island with talent that competes on a global scale," stated Lisa Carnevale, co-founder and acting director, DESIGNxRI. "Since inception, DESIGNxRI has sought to strengthen the design businesses in this sector and showcase this talent. We are very excited to partner with the City, RISD, and SE Greenhouse to deliver this very important and valuable opportunity for design businesses in Providence."

In addition to providing seed capital to qualifying businesses, the Providence Design Catalyst will support grantees through a series of workshops that establish a plan for growing their business by identifying achievable milestones and goals.

"This program is a first of its kind initiative to support business growth in this important sector," stated Aidan Petrie, co-founder/chief innovation officer at Ximedica and also a member of the Providence Design Catalyst steering committee. "It's exciting to see Providence support design - a sector that is so woven into the fabric of our city. This grant program taps into some of the City's natural assets and will catalyze a real boon for economic development."

Applications are due November 15, 2015. More information on the program and how to apply can be found by visiting:

(release from City of Providence)