Applications open for Take It Outside funds in Cumberland

Applications open for Take It Outside funds in Cumberland

CUMBERLAND – The mayor’s office, in partnership with town grant writer Lisa Andoscia, has secured $75,000 from Rhode Island Commerce to provide funding to local businesses looking to expand outdoor services.

The Take It Outside initiative is part of a statewide effort to encourage and increase outdoor activities to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The funds will be used to procure and distribute goods such as outdoor wireless internet, tents, and heat lamps to businesses and organizations to enable them to conduct their operations outside.

“I am a small business guy, I understand that when you’re in a small business there is no such thing as a zero day,” said Mayor Jeff Mutter. “As a community we want to do everything we can to set up our local businesses for success this fall. We look forward to collaborating with them to utilize these funds.”

Interested businesses or organizations must submit an application to the town outlining their requests. The application period will close Oct. 14 at 10 a.m. Applicants may be awarded funding in an amount less than their full ask, depending on the number of submissions.

Contingent on the remaining availability of funds, a second application round will close on Oct. 20.

“I am thankful and appreciative to R.I. Commerce and the U.S. Treasury for its ‘Take It Outside’ grant awards that will assist local restaurants, health clubs and yoga/pilates studios who have been financially impacted by COVID-19,” said Andoscia, who also secured a $75,000 grant for North Providence. “We should all join the effort to buy local and help small businesses recover from the economic shutdown of COVID-19.”

North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi said this week that he’d like to partner up with Cumberland and Smithfield to buy some items in bulk for the Take It Outside initiative and hopefully stretch the available dollars.

The application can be found on the town’s website. All questions should be directed to Community Outreach Coordinator Sarah King at sking@cumberlandri.org .