Creating Opportunity - Building Community

The Rhode Island Black Business Association

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In November 2010,  Lisa Ranglin mobilized community and local leaders to come together to look at issues affecting small businesses in underserved cities. This group, led by Lisa, conducted brainstorming sessions and did a random sampling of both individuals and businesses to help determine the priorities for effectively fostering minority small business efforts. After a detailed analysis was completed, the group recommended that the Rhode Island Black Business Association (RIBBA) be established.

Mission, Vision, and Core Values

RIBBA is committed to providing dynamic leadership, advocacy and economic empowerment to strengthen and promote sustainable growth and prosperity within Rhode Island’s underserved communities.

Our Vision
To be a member-centric Association and the united voice and leader for advancement of businesses, entrepreneurs, and professionals in Rhode Island’s underserved communities.
The Institute for Economic Empowerment and Development is a 501 (c) (3) charitable arm of RIBBA and provides financial support to RIBBA to carry out its stated priorities through educational programing to individuals, families and individuals and entrepreneurs which promotes dignity, economic growth and financial stability. Funds are acquired through by the way of donations, grants, and fundraisers.

Advocacy: Advocates for policies that favorable impact small business Stay informed and seek solutions to issues.

COLLABORATION: Willingness to work with others to create effective partnerships. Explore opportunities both internal and external to our organization to partner, support, and leverage the knowledge, skills, abilities, and talents for the enduring bene t of our members and our organization.

DEVELOPMENT: Provide a positive and stable vibrant economy by providing opportunities to grow, assisting our businesses with information and guidance.
EXCELLENCE: Meet and exceed expectations, continuous improvements, identify and document best practices and promote high quality outcomes.

INNOVATION: driven by creativity and welcome input on cutting-edge, out-of-the box tools, techniques, methods, programs, and processes.

INTEGRITY: Accountability, ethical commitment, reliability, respect, promote openness, trust and transparency.

LEADERSHIP: Promotion and fostering the development of leadership in our community. Develop knowledgeable, skilled and passionate leaders who will advocate for and represent the community.

STRATEGIC: Thinking long term for the best interests of the organization and members.

What is the make-up of membership and location?

The RIBBA is comprised of businesses, professionals, industries, and individuals. We are located at 3 Regency Plaza, Suite 3E, Providence, RI 02903.

Membership in RIBBA comes with many great benefits, including but not limited to:
• Customer Referrals
• Advertising & Sponsorship Opportunities
• Listing on RIBBA Website & Printed Directory
• Seminars, Educational & Professional Development Opportunities
• Ribbon Cuttings & Groundbreaking Ceremonies
• Invitation to Host or Attend Networking Events
• Member Only Pricing for Events, E-blasts/Other Marketing Materials & Services
To learn more about Membership Benefits check out our Member Benefits page. If you want even more information contact our Membership & Program, Chair, Zaneta Hunter, at

COVID-19 Business Resources

Small Business Technical Assistance

For Technical Assistance, Please click on the Small Business Technical Assistance form below.

Click here to access our assistance form

COVID-19 Business Update

The COVID-19 crisis currently unfolding is affecting everyone in some form. Like you, we have been monitoring the latest news about the Coronavirus. We want you to have confidence that we are going to continue to work for you to better your businesses while also helping decrease the spread of this virus.
In light of the rapidly evolving conditions related to COVID-19, RIBBA is implementing the following measures, based on ensuring the health and safety of our stakeholders:
We will not be scheduling any in person meetings with clients or members until further notice
We will however keep our line of communication open.

RIBBA staff will be available by phone (401-383-1179) or e-mail ( should you have any questions.


Rhode Island Black Business Association
Loans up to $5,000 available to RI minority business owners – for emergencies caused by forced closings of beauty salons, barber shops, food services and others due to COVID-19.  Fast turnaround.  Easy to apply.  Very flexible terms.

United Way of Rhode Island/RI Foundation
Provides basic needs during the crisis – food, housing, health care and medical supplies. First round distributed $1.2 million to 49 non-profits, giving between $10,000 and $75,000.

Grants up to $10,000 for small businesses.  LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) uses Verizon funding to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19—especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital.  First funding round closed; more funding rounds expected.


 Superior Court COVID-19 Business Recovery Plan
Non-Liquidating Receivership

Provides court supervised protection to businesses disrupted by COVID-19 from lawsuits and other actions by creditors for an undetermined period.  Businesses  can operate, access new working capital and pay debts from revenue generated by ongoing operations. Free legal services are available to apply for this program for minority business owners through RIBBA.

RI Commerce Corporation
Rhode Island Bridge Loans

Lending to microbusinesses and restaurants.  Must apply for SBA loan first.  Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, in partnership with Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), the Rhode Island Hospitality Association and Bank Newport, is launching a short-term bridge loan program for our restaurants and smallest businesses (1 to 10 employees).  The program is funded through $1 million from the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation’s Small Business Loan Fund and $1 million from Bank Newport.


Small Business Administration (SBA)
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program  (EIDL)

Targeted loans to small businesses and nonprofits severely impacted by COVID-19.  Can be used to cover business operating expenses:  payroll, inventory, machinery and equipment, etc.

Paycheck Protection Program Loans (PPP)
Cash flow assistance through 100% federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency.  If employers maintain their payroll, loans will be forgiven. Retroactive to February 15, 2020.

Social Security Payroll Tax Deferral
Under the CARES Act, employers can defer paying their share of Social Security tax; 50% of the deferred amount must be paid by Dec. 31, 2021 and the remaining 50% is due by Dec. 31, 2022. Social Security tax for employees and self-employed individuals must be paid as normal.

Department of the Treasury
Tax Holiday
Three month tax holiday to defer tax payments without interest or penalties.

Federal Reserve Emergency Fund
Lending to businesses in the air travel, air cargo and national security industries.   Appears to be for big business but may eventually be available to small businesses.

Certain private non-profit (PNP) organizations are eligible to apply for funding through FEMA’s Public Assistance program.  Eligible PNPs must own or operate an eligible facility.  For PNPs, an eligible facility is one that provides an eligible service, which includes education, utilities, emergency, medical, custodial care, and other essential social services.