RIBBA announces the creation of a forgivable Micro-Loan Program totaling $450,000 for distribution to minority-owned businesses in the Ocean State

Seeing a higher-than-normal need for services due to the pandemic, and their existing clients struggling to keep their doors open, this is a much-needed financial relief for the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) businesses community. The RIBBA Forgivable Micro-Loan program is made possible with funding from the Papitto Opportunity Connection (POC) Foundation.

Arnell Milhouse, a POC Foundation Advisory Board Member reached out to Lisa Ranglin to forge the partnership between RIBBA and the POC Foundation. Through this partnership, POC Foundation has committed to supporting the RIBBA Forgivable Micro-Loan with $450,000 in funding.

“Community-based organizations, like RIBBA, need to be fully funded with adequate resources and an infrastructure to support the growing demands of businesses owned by people of color, and now thank to the POC Foundation, we have it “, says RIBBA Founder and Executive Director, Lisa Ranglin.

“The POC Foundation is committed to helping organizations like RIBBA and incredible leaders in the African American community like Lisa Ranglin, create programs that will help African American business owners grow their businesses and develop sustainable ventures that will contribute to the overall economic strength of Rhode Island”, says POC Foundation Advisory Board member, Arnell Milhouse, “This funding opportunity will also assist by helping important African American narratives be told directly by people from within the community. We are extremely grateful to the generosity, vision, and vanguard leadership of Barbara Papitto and her late husband, Ralph Papitto.”

Applicants may apply for the loan with a low 1% percent interest rate in increments between $500 - $3,000.  The loan, which can be used to pay operating costs such as rent, utilities, insurance, marketing costs, and supplies, can be forgiven if the expense is Covid -19 related and for an individual’s business.

For information on how to access the online application go to the Rhode Island Black Business Association’s (RIBBA) website (www.ri-bba.org ) or call (401) 383-1179.

About RIBBA 

Established in 2010, the Rhode Island Black Business Association RIBBA is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the business opportunities and vitality of minority-owned businesses in Rhode Island through access to capital, contracting, business development resources, entrepreneur training, business advocacy, meaningful investor services, and workforce development.  A One-On-One Business Development Assistance, an Emerging Leaders Class and Mentorship program, and Microloan Access Leadership are among the services and programs RIBBA provides to the business and entrepreneur community.

About the POC Foundation 

The Papitto Opportunity Connection (POC) is a non-profit private foundation dedicated to listening to and helping Rhode Island’s communities of color empower themselves and create stories of success. The POC Foundation does this by investing in programs and organizations and ventures that boost education, job skills training, and entrepreneurship.

POC Foundation Website: www.POCFoundation.com