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PBDC Loan Program

The City of Pawtucket provides customer friendly assistance to help businesses thrive.  The City has an economic development office with a customer-friendly approach to troubleshooting fire, zoning, and building code issues and other business growth issues.  Flexible financing tools are among Pawtucket’s resources to help businesses grow. Through the Pawtucket’s Business Development Corporation, the City provides programs that include:



Given the extended duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and its continuing severe impacts on Pawtucket’s small businesses, Mayor Donald Grebien announces that the City of Pawtucket now offers two loans, a COVID-19 Emergency Loan (up to $10,000) and a Forgivable Loan Program (up to $5,000).  These lending programs were created by the City’s Pawtucket Business Development Corporation (PBDC) to get needed operating funds quickly into into the hands of small business owners as soon as possible.


“Over the past year PBDC has closely listened to its small business community and has worked to fine-tune its initial COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for addressing the continuing financial burdens faced by local businesses resulting from continued economic downturn,” says Mayor Grebien.  “In addition to our initial  COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program, PBDC’s Forgivable Loan Program comes from these conversations,” he notes.


According to the Mayor, PBDC’s two COVID-19 loan programs provide interim relief to small businesses with 25 or fewer employees.  To be eligible for the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program, a business must demonstrate a 30 percent loss of revenue caused by the continued virus crisis.  However, if applying for the Forgivable Loan Program, the percentage of loss of revenue must reach 50 percent.


Funding from both loan programs can be used to pay operating expenses for day-to-day business operations, which include but are not limited to rent, utilities, insurance, marketing costs and supplies.


PBDC will require business owners submitting the completed application to either be low-moderate income or to provide documentation that at least one (1) low-moderate job be either created or retained. The application will include income guidelines.


PBDC’s Emergency Loan amounts of $10,000 comes with a 2 percent interest rate.  Due to the ongoing hardships caused by COVID-19 virus outbreak, PBDC’s loan will be deferred for the first twelve (12) months after the loan is administered. After 12 months, businesses will begin to make their monthly loan payment.  After repayment begins, the businesses will have two (2) years to complete full repayment of the loan.


For PBDC’s Forgiveness Loan Program, the emergency loan amount of $5,000 comes with a low 2 percent interest rate.  Due to the continuing hardships caused by COVID-19, PBDC’s loan is deferred for the first 12 months after the loan is closed.  After 12 months, businesses will begin to make their monthly payments and will have two (2) years to complete full repayment of the loan.  However, this loan will be forgiven after the first year if one (1) job is either created or retained, he notes.


Funding is limited for these programs, and applications will be reviewed on a first come, first serve basis.  Only completed applications, signed and dated, will be considered ready for review.

Businesses can download the application below:

For a PBDC COVID Emergency Loan application, click here.

For PBDC Forgivable Loan Program, click here.


You can either mail the application or drop it off addressed as follows:  Attention:  Pawtucket Business Development Corporation, City of Pawtucket, 137 Roosevelt Avenue, Pawtucket, RI 02860.  Please contact Herb Weiss, the City's Economic and Cultural Affairs Officer, with any questions or comments at his office (401) 728-0500, Ext. 437, or by e-mail at hweiss@pawtucketri.com.




Other pbdc loan programs:

Business Loan Program

  • Commercial Ventures

Provide matching loans to retail and service-sector borrowers, including start-ups. Eligible uses of funds include inventory and lease-hold improvements (term not to exceed 3 years, maximum loan up to $10,000).

  • Equipment Loans

Providing matching loans to industrial borrowers working to purchase equipment or upgrade existing equipment. Borrower is allowed to borrow up to 90% of value of equipment (not to exceed 5 years and $50,000).

  • Real Estate Loans

To enable industrial and commercial borrowers to acquire and rehabilitate real estate. Borrower is allowed to borrow up to 90% of the value of the real estate (not to exceed 10 years and $100,000).

  • Working Capital Loans

Provide working capital for inventory materials, marketing and related expenses to industrial and commercial borrowers (not to exceed 3 years and $50,000). Relocation loan-related expenses for businesses moving into the city are included in this program.

Provide small-scale loans to businesses with 10 or fewer employees located in or planning to locate in the City.


Provide loans to businesses located in or planning to locate to the City’s Downtown or another one of the City’s Designated Growth Centers.


Provide loans to businesses located in or planning to locate in the City that meet one of the four established “special designation” criteria. Special designations include business startups, businesses centered on the arts, Women Business Enterprises, and Minority Business Enterprises.     


Restaurant Loan Program 

  • Restaurant Loans

Providing incentive funding for the improvement and/or expansion of restaurants located in the City’s 307 acre Arts & Entertainment District or those interested in relocating to this area. Borrower is allowed to borrow up to $50,000. The terms of the loans are determined by use of funds: Working Capital (3 years); Real Estate (10 years); Equipment (5 years).


Fire Safety Loan Program

  • Fire Safety Loans

Providing building owners and long-term lessees with funding to upgrade existing commercial properties to meet Rhode Island’s Fire Safety Code.

PBDC Loan Application


Other Economic Development Services:

  • Property Search – We offer property searches to assist businesses seeking information about properties in Pawtucket that are for sale and/or for lease. Detailed information about each property is made available including characteristics such as ceiling height, loading docks, utilities and asking price for sale and/or lease. Additional information on available properties in Pawtucket can be found at LoopNet

For further information contact:

 Jeanne Boyle, Economic Development Director, 401-728-0500 ext. 432

Herb Weiss, 401-728-0500 ext. 437  


 Other Programs:

  • State Tax Incentive Program in City’s Arts & Entertainment District - Providing state income tax incentives for eligible artists residing in the City’s Arts and Entertainment District. 
  • Streamlining Pawtucket’s Regulatory Process – The City of Pawtucket works together with developers to bring their buildings up to fire and safety codes. Every Thursday, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., the Zoning, Fire and Planning Departments meet together with developers to discuss their specific projects. Once a month, a meeting is held between developers and City regulatory officials and the Mayor’s Office to determine how the City continues to streamline its regulatory process while ensuring safety. Also, a Guide to Permitting manual has been compiled; codifying the City’s permitting process.

Additional Information


  • December 6, 2023
  • Press Release


City Speak
"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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