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City of Providence Seal PVD Rescue Plan

Providence received $166 million dollars from the U.S. Treasury to make a transformative investment in our City’s future between now and 2024. Rescue Plan funds can be used to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency or its negative economic impacts.

Economic Development

Many small businesses have still not recovered from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and are fighting to reintegrate themselves into this new, changing economy. Through ARPA funding, the City has directed resources towards regaining financial stability in our arts, tourism and business sectors.
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COVID-19 Small Business Relief Program
The COVID-19 Small Business Relief Program provided microgrants of $2,500 to 2,700 qualified businesses throughout the city for economic relief from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Special Events Grantees
Providence’s arts and cultural institutions were some of the hardest hit businesses throughout COVID-19, and many are still struggling to rebound. The City of Providence granted a total of $200,000 to nine organizations. These awards are part of a larger effort to ensure that the art institutions that make Providence unique can rebound and grow over the long-term. The $200,000 grants that were awarded are part of over $3 million the city has awarded to various art programs and cultural institutions fighting the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Cultural Facilities Support
The City of Providence created the Cultural Facilities Grant Program supported local 501c(3) nonprofit cultural art institutions to cover capital repairs and renovations to existing facilities and the construction of new ones. Eighteen organizations received grant funding in the total amount of $2,500,000 through the Providence American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

Building Resilient Neighborhoods

While we may not know when there will be another COVID-19 pandemic, we want to make sure Providence is ready now. Through ARPA funding, we are making our neighborhoods more resilient so they can withstand and recover from the next emergency.
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Support to Community Nonprofit Organizations
During the pandemic the City relied on the support of our community organizations to ensure our residents had access to essential resources. To ensure that community organizations are resilient toward future disasters the City of Providence advertised grant funding in the amount of $300,000. These grants were created to increase resiliency and improve infrastructure amongst community organizations to help improve their ability to administer programs and services during future emergencies including, providing shelter, goods through food pantries, employment opportunities through job training and key social services including behavioral health services.

Recreation and Community Center Investments
The City of Providence is committed to ensuring that our youth, families and community members can access the resources they need through our recreation and community centers. The City has allocated $3.6 million dollars to improve and redevelop our centers, this will allow several of them to provide better services and serve as resiliency hubs in the near future.

Fox Point Hurricane Barrier Repair Project
By incorporating climate resiliency into the City’s infrastructure plan, we can better adapt and withstand the adverse effects of extreme weather events. The City successfully completed repairs to the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier, a $3 million dollar project that will ensure Providence is better equipped to combat natural disasters. The hurricane barrier is a critical piece of infrastructure that protects our city from flooding, and these repairs are essential to ensure its continued functionality.

City Services & Infrastructure

Every resident in every neighborhood deserves access to city services that improves their quality of life and infrastructure that makes Providence a safer city to live in.
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Roger Willams Park Gateway
The Gateway Center is an important part of the ongoing revitalization of the Broad Street corridor, a cultural hub that began to form over 60 years ago and is home to a proud and diverse Latino community. The City recently completed safety infrastructure upgrades to Broad Street which make the area safer and more accessible for people walking, biking, riding the bus, and driving. An innovative ground mural was installed by local artist Rene Gomez at the intersection of Public and Daboll Streets.

Broadband / PVD Connects
The Affordable Connectivity Program provides eligible households with a discount of up to $30 per month toward broadband service. The program can also help individuals with the purchase of a computer, laptop or tablet. Through ARPA funding, the Mayor’s Center for City Services now has a dedicated Broadband Community Outreach Coordinator, who will be able to help with eligibility questions and provide technical assistance for the program application.

Park Investments
As the world integrates online work into every part of our economy, it is critical everyone in our community have access to free high-quality internet. Through ARPA funding, the City of Providence has enhanced our public spaces by offering free Wi-Fi in our parks. This means that residents, students, visitors and community members can now visit their local park and take care of day-to-day tasks.

Youth & Education

The COVID-19 pandemic has had deep long-lasting impacting on Providence’s kids. Providing them with the necessary supports and resources can help them get back on track and prepare them for a brighter future 
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LISC/ Early Learning Infrastructure Support Program
The Early Learning Infrastructure Support Program was designed to provide grants to center-based and home-based providers to improve the quality, safety, and programming of Providence early childhood care providers who serve communities who have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In partnership with LISC RI, early learning and childcare providers received planning and feasibility grants for space renovations and space suitability assessments, addressing urgent health and safety conditions. The grants help providers come into compliance with current licensing regulations and support structural improvements.

Nonviolence Training
The Nonviolence Institute is offering monthly S.E.E.D. (Skills Enrichment Education Development) trainings for youth ages 15-24. These weeklong training programs provide participants an opportunity to develop crucial skills that focus on the interconnectedness of the principles of nonviolence, conflict resolution and mental health and wellness. To learn more about the program or to register please click here.

Investments in Public Libraries
Through ARPA funding the City prioritized investing in Providence’s public libraries which also serve as critical community gathering and educational spaces. These investments include expanded hours at Providence Public Library and in the three largest Community Library of Providence locations – Rochambeau, Knight, and Mt. Pleasant; creation of outdoor classroom spaces at 6 different libraries – Washington Park, South Providence, Mt. Pleasant, Olneyville, Smith Hill, and Wanskuck; creation of several programs including a mobile library, Spanish language and mental health support programs.


Developing housing across all price points has been a top priority for the Smiley Administration. Over the last year, $29.2M has been invested in the Affordable Housing Trust, geared towards helping the development of affordable housing projects. Additionally, the City has invested $4.3 million in ARPA funding for emergency shelter beds and other emergency housing solutions, has invested in critical programs like Amos House’s A Hand Up program through the City budget, and is set to invest another $1.7 million in emergency housing supports in the next year.