Mayor Announces $90K Grant Award for City Restaurants, Seniors, and

Library Patrons to “Take It Outside”

WOONSOCKET, R.I.: Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt announced today that Woonsocket has been awarded a $90K grant from the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation’s (RICC) “Take It Outside”initiative. The initiative’s objective is to encourage and increase outdoor activities to help reduce the transmission rate of COVID-19. Woonsocket received one of the highest “Take It Outside”awards among the 41 grant recipients after presenting a compelling plan to RICC for improving the quality of life for City residents during the COVID-19 pandemic by expanding outdoor recreation opportunities in the upcoming colder weather months

The City’s grant application to RICC detailed creative ways to expand outdoor activities and participation during cold weather months through helping local restaurants increase their open- air dining capacity, developing an outside activity area for the City’s library, initiating outdooractivities and food service for City seniors, and facilitating greater use of the City’s bike path to benefit residents and local businesses.

“Many Woonsocket residents especially our seniors and children, have been couped up for months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this grant will fund programs that offer them more recreational activities to venture outside for during our colder weather,” stated Mayor Baldelli-Hunt. The Mayor further detailed, “A major part of this grant will be procuring and distributing equipment to our restaurants like heat lamps, umbrellas and tables to facilitate their being able to continue outside dining during our colder months. Outdoor dining is an invaluable option for our restaurants and this grant coupled with my executive order extending outdoor dining through December 31st will help them keep their doors open and employees workingduring the pandemic.”

The “Take It Outside” grant will supplement the City’s CDBG-CARES “Jump Start” program recently announced by the Mayor which is designed to provide grants up to $5,000 and loans up to $10,000 for small businesses to make purchases, investments and improvements to their facilities in orderto comply with the Governor’s COVID-19 reopening directives.

Planning Director Scott Gibbs offered, “This was a very competitive grant with tight deadlines and through the hard work of our Planning and Building Departments, Human Resources and Library, we were able to expedite presenting a quality proposal that RICC felt would really benefit Woonsocket seniors, restaurants and residents.”

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