Microenterprise Stabilization Grants

The Microenterprise Stabilization (MicroE) Grant Program is a federally-funded COVID-19 relief mechanism that will provide up to 10 adversely-impacted microenterprises in Westerly with one-time, lump sum grants of up to $5,000. The funds will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis and may be used for a range of working capital expenses including lease, tax, and utility payments (current or past-due) as well as payroll, PPE, and more.

If you have any questions, reach out to one of the contacts cited at the bottom of the page. Our trained personnel in Development Services are available from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM every business day to help.

This program ended on May 1, 2021.

Step 1: Determining Eligibility and Understanding the Process

To start off with a strong foundation and make your progress through the next steps easier, we highly encourage you to take time upfront to read the three documents below.

The MicroE application process begins with you determining whether your business qualifies for funds based on requirements primarily established by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). To make the experience of applying as accessible and uncomplicated as possible for our small businesses, the Town of Westerly has not adopted any local standards in addition to what the federal and state governments have set out.

If you determine that your business qualifies, please skip ahead to "Step 2: Preparing an Application". If you determine that your business doesn’t qualify, please see directly below. And if you’re not able to make a determination either way, send an email to one of the contacts listed at the bottom of the page for help.

What if my business doesn't qualify?

Regretfully, there are criteria set that will restrict some businesses from being eligible for MicroE grants. A determination of this can unfortunately happen on any step along the way. If your business ultimately falls into this category, please know that you may have other opportunities:

  • Visit the Town's Small Business and Nonprofit Resources page. Here, you can find a list of funding opportunities (both governmental and private) as well as other available COVID-19 relief efforts. The page is reviewed regularly to ensure information is kept up-to-date.
  • Tell us what requirement(s) makes your business ineligible. Within the first few weeks of this program's beginning, the Town of Westerly has already been successful in advocating for major relaxations in the program's initial criteria: single-employee businesses, businesses that were approved for EIDL and/or PPP funding through the SBA, and businesses that opened in 2019 are now all eligible as of June 23, 2020. We understand that this grant opportunity is still not available to all businesses, though. We're here to continue supporting you. Please consider completing this quick two minute, three question survey to let us know what's preventing you from applying. Information collected from the survey will be reported only in aggregate and will be used to help us achieve further changes that will make MicroE Grants more accessible to you and other local small businesses like yours.

Step 2: Preparing an Application

After completing Step 1 and establishing that you meet the requirements to receive a grant, you're ready to begin completing an application. All the necessary application documents can be found here (don't forget to gather the supporting documents to back-up your case for funding):

If your business doesn't have a DUNS number, instructions to obtain one for free are linked here. Don't worry - you can still continue on to steps three and four while waiting for it to be issued to you.

*Note: A Form W-9 must be completed by businesses for the Town to issue a Form 1099 for your 2020 tax filings (grants will be considered income by the federal and state governments).

Step 3: Scheduling and Receiving a Phone Screening

After you've filled out your application and gathered all the required documents, you can schedule a half-hour block on any of the following days/times to go over your work with a member of the Town's staff. During this time, you and the member of Town staff will go through the application documents to confirm nothing's been missed and that the answers you provided will meet the State's expectations. Please do not schedule a phone screening appointment until you're confident that your application will be ready for review at the time you select Please also note that applications should not be submitted in advance of the phone screening (this will come in the next step).

To schedule your phone screening, email Alyse Oziolor, Principal Planner, at aoziolor@westerlyri.gov.

Step 4: Submitting Your Application for Third-Party Review

Once you've had and successfully pass your phone screening, you're ready to submit your application to the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC). The State has contracted with this nation-wide non-profit (whose local office is in Providence, RI) to assist MicroE participating communities with the official application review process. Shortly after you're phone screening, you'll receive instructions on how to submit your application. To help you prepare in advance, please be aware that you'll need access to the following office equipment:

  • Scanner or photocopier
  • Secure email (remember - the application you send will contain personal/private financial information)

Step 5: Getting Approved and Receiving Your Award

Once LISC's review is complete and the application is confirmed to qualify, the Town will issue both you and the State a Notice of Tentative Approval. From there, the Town will work with the State on your behalf to complete the final administrative actions. Once done, you'll be sent a Grant Agreement (sample linked here) to execute and return within three days. Your check will then be cut within three days of the Grant Agreement's receipt.

After receiving your award, the only additional work required will be to complete and submit four consecutive quarterly reports to the Town (covering a one-year period). The Quarterly Update Report can be accessed here:

Contact us

Did this webpage have what you were looking for? Are there additional details you'd like explained about anything above? Is there something the Town or its partners can do to better assist you? Please reach out to any of the following contacts to let us know more:

  • Alyse Oziolor, Principal Planner - aoziolor@westerlyri.gov
  • Lisa Pellegrini, Director of Development Services - lpellegrini@westerlyri.gov
The 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic is an ongoing and continuously-developing situation. We're thankful for the patience and support of our small businesses during this time.

This webpage was last updated on May 26, 2021.