MicroE Grants

Business Microenterprise Stabilization Grant (MicroE) Program

Changes in the criteria widen the eligibility

Recent Changes have been made to allow more businesses to apply: Specifically:

Checkist Items changed:

8. Have been established in 2019 or earlier; and,

11. Businesses that received EIDL and/or PPP funds may apply, as long as the adverse impacts on the business exceed other assistance by at least $5,000.


The Town of Portsmouth is working on the procedures for a Grant Program for Small Businesses affected by COVID-19  (Called "MicroE").  

We will start accepting applications on May 27th.  

Below are the details of the program.  

What is a "MicroE" Grant?

The Town of Portsmouth, 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.

Certain types of microenterprises are eligible. A microenterprise is defined as a commercial enterprise that has five or fewer employees, one or more of whom owns the enterprise.

Family Income Limits. The microenterprise owner’s gross annual family income may not exceed the applicable threshold below, based on family size and city/town where you live (not where your business is located).

FY3030 Mod/Low Income (80%) Limits

Place of Residence
1 Person

2 Person

3 Person

4 Person

5 Person

6 Person

7 Person

8 Person
Newport, Middletown,  Portsmouth







Westerly, Hopkinton, New Shorham







All Other RI$48,750$55,700$62,650$69,600$75,200$80,750$86,350$92,900

What Businesses are Eligible?

Businesses must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be a microenterprise, as defined above
  • Be owned by low- or moderate-income person(s) (≤80% of the Area Median Income, based on family size)Be a for-profit entity (sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, or LLCs)
  • Have a physical establishment in the city/town of application
  • Provide goods or services to multiple clients or customersBe in good standing with the state and city/town
  • Be current on all taxes due through 3/1/2020Active and valid state licenses/registrations, if applicable
  • Not a party to litigation involving the state or city/town
  • Be able to document a loss of income of at least $1,000 due to COVID-19
  • Have been established prior to 1/1/2019
  • Have annual gross revenues greater than $25,000
  • Have at least two employees, including the owner(s) Not be listed under the excluded business types, as amended (see below)

How Do I Apply?

We expect the program to start accepting applications on May 27th.

If you fit the eligibility above, 

1. Run through the MicroE Application (it has a bunch of yes/no questions) to see if your business is a fit.

2. Run through the MicroE Checklist  to make sure you can come up with the required documentation. 

If you think you can come up with all the required documents, contact us to discuss the details.

What Documents Do I Need?

Required Documents:

See the MicroE Checklist  for a checklist of documents needed

 Applicants must submit all application forms, and supporting documents, including copies of:

  • Driver’s License or State-Issued Photo ID
  • Personal tax returns for all adults filing separately (2018 or 2019)
  • Business tax returns (2018 or 2019)
  • Copies of payrolls for most recent pay period and pay period ending on/before 3/7/2020
  • Copies of receipts for impacted period in 2020 (e.g. March), and same period in 2018, 2019

How Will Funds Be Distributed and Used?

Grant Amounts: $5,000 grants will be disbursed via a single lump-sum payment to approved, eligible microenterprises.

  • Business Microenterprise Stabilization Grant (MicroE) Program

Uses of Funds: Funds may be used for working capital to cover business costs, such as rent, staffing, and utilities. MicroE funds may not be used for major equipment purchases, purchase of real property, construction activities, business expansion, or lobbying.

What Types of Businesses are Excluded?

Excluded Business Types: The following business types are excluded from participating in this program:

  • cannabis-related businesses;
  • real estate rentals/sales businesses;
  • home-based businesses with no employees;
  • businesses owned by persons under age 18;
  • businesses that are franchises or chains;
  • liquor stores;
  • weapons/firearms dealers;
  • lobbyists;
  • persons operating as independent consultants/contractors and providing services to a single entity;
  • home-based businesses that are restricted to patrons below the age of 18;

Microenterprises owned by students age 18+ are generally ineligible, unless the student owner is the sole means of financial support for other family members

Application Forms

For more information or questions


Gary Crosby, Town Planner, 401-643-0332, gcrosby@PortsmouthRI.com


Rich Talipsky, Director of Business Development, 401-643-0382, rtalipsky@PortsmouthRI.com