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Home > News > Shop Local -- Celebrating Pawtucket’s Small Businesses on Saturday

Shop Local -- Celebrating Pawtucket’s Small Businesses on Saturday

Pawtucket – Tomorrow, the nation celebrates its small businesses on the 11th annual Small Business Saturday, held on November 28, 2020, Thanksgiving weekend.

According to American Express, last year an estimated 110 million people participated in Small Business Saturday, with estimated sales reaching $19.6 billion.  Initially founded a decade ago by the company in response to the Great Recession, the first Small Business Saturday has evolved into a global shop small campaign to support small merchants.

“Small Business Saturday can assist our Pawtucket small merchants during this holiday season to improve their bottom line and to economically recover from the devastating economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Mayor Donald R. Grebien, encouraging residents to shop local.  “They’re the backbone of the City’s economy, they really are,” he says.

“This year, Small Business Saturday is more important than ever as our small businesses continue to weather the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our small businesses need our patronage more than ever and I encourage locals to support them this coming Small Business Saturday and throughout the Holiday Season,” says Grebien.

Grebien says the City’s Pawtucket Business Development Corporation (PBDC) has allocated $60,000 through the CARES Act to help Pawtucket’s small businesses by providing low-interest loans.  So far, six (6) small businesses have received assistance with several other applications pending.  The City still has $240,000 available for this loan initiative after having loaned out $250,000 to 25 Pawtucket businesses. 

PBDC’s emergency loan program provides interim relief to small retail businesses with 25 or fewer employees, who can demonstrate a 30 percent loss of revenue caused by the virus crisis. The loan can be used to pay operating expenses for day to day business operations which include but are not limited to payroll, utility costs and rent.

The emergency loan amount of $10,000 distributed to a number of businesses came with a low 2 percent interest rate. Due to the ongoing hardships caused by COVID-19, PBDC’s loan is deferred for the first 12 months after the loan closing date. After 12 months, businesses will begin making monthly loan payments on a 24 month amortization schedule.

“Our pro-business approach is so important to jump start the City’s economy and we are working hard to make it as easy as we can and as fast as we can to process these loan requests,” Grebien said. 

For questions regarding how the city assists Pawtucket businesses during the COVID-19 emergency, please contact Herb Weiss, Economic & Cultural Affairs Officer at 401 728-0500, Ext. 437, or email,

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"The birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, Pawtucket is poised to undergo a 21st century evolution into Rhode Island's premier arts and cultural destination, an ideal community to live, work, play, start a business and raise a family."

- Mayor Donald R. Grebien

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