Thursday, May 28, 2020        

Letter to Residents & Community Partners from the Town Manager – April 24, 2020

April 24, 2020

Dear Residents, Businesses, and Community Partners:

Thank you! Thank you for staying home, limiting social interaction, washing your hands, and using face coverings in public. We know that staying home and being apart from our loved ones is becoming increasingly difficult and those that are still working in the public domain are worried on a daily basis.  Our deepest condolences go out to members of our community who have lost a loved one.  Please know that we are here for you and our thoughts are with you.

Please continue to stay home and practice good health measures so we can continue to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. 

The Governor has extended virtual learning through the remainder of the school year. This decision has been difficult for our students, our senior class, and our parents and family members that are assisting with learning at home. Our team of educators have been nothing short of amazing. Their creativity and determination are keeping our students engaged. Thank you! There will be further updates from the School Department.    

Thank you for the continued efforts of our Police and Fire Departments.  The newly implemented birthday celebration program has received an overwhelming response from the community.  In addition, the “Smithfield Fire Department Supports Local Business” competition has begun.  Submit your receipts for purchases from town businesses to the Fire Department and be entered into a raffle to win prizes. 

Important Information: 

If you are feeling sick and exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, visit the Department of Health’s self checker and schedule a test:

  • Call your healthcare provider (if you have one) to get an order for a COVID-19 test at one of the drive-up testing sites at URI in South Kingstown, at CCRI in Warwick, or at Rhode Island College in Providence (adults and children).

Or

  • Go to the CVS website to be pre-screened for testing and to get an appointment (adult 18+ only). 

Keeping Each Other Safe: 

  • Stay at home, unless you are getting food, medicine, gas, or going to work.
  • Social gatherings are limited to 5 people or less.
  • Keep a log of the people you have come in contact with every day.
    • This will assist the Dept. of Health to trace your contacts in the event that you contract COVID-19.
  • Wear a face covering in public. CDC guidance on face coverings, here.
  • Restaurants are open for takeout and delivery only, this includes wine and beer.
  • Public entertainment, recreation and close contact businesses must remain closed to customers (online, delivery or curbside pickup can be established).
  • Domestic or international travel: people returning to R.I. for non-work purposes by any means of transportation must quarantine for 14 days.
  • Telehealth must be extended under health insurance policies

COVID-19 has affected all corners of our community in some way. There is assistance available for families, mental health needs, those unemployed, and businesses. 

Individuals and Families 

  • If you are unemployed or have been laid off, please contact the Department of Labor and Training. Their factsheet will help guide you and answer your questions (English, Spanish).
  • The Federal CARES Act extended unemployment benefits for gig economy workers, small business owners, workers for hire, self-employed individuals and those who are otherwise ineligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits. Apply here.
  • Job openings in Rhode Island Visit EmployRI.
  • Utility shut-offs have been suspended until April 15th. Evictions have been suspended until May 17th.
  • Free “Grab and Go” meals are available for children throughout Rhode Island. Food site locations (Smithfield – Old County Road School – 200 Old County Road).
  • If you are in need of food delivery: http://www.oha.ri.gov/deliveryoptions/
  • Health Source RI will remain open for new subscribers until April 30th. Visit
  • Rhode Island partnered with Care.com to increase childcare access. In addition to providing 90 days of free, premium access to their website, Care.com has created portals specifically for frontline workers and caregivers in R.I. – care.com/rineed.
  • Hotel rooms are available at reduced costs for quarantine/isolation at Visit RI Havens.
  • For additional resources please visit: https://www.smithfieldri.com/emergency/.
  • BH Link: If you or a someone you love is going through a mental health or substance use crisis, there is help available: 401-414-LINK (5465), https://www.bhlink.org/, Triage Center: 975 Waterman Ave., East Providence
  • For mental health assistance for children under 18, please call 855-KID(543)-LINK(5465)
  • The R.I. United Way 211 hotline is available 24 hours, 7 days a week to answer questions and connect you with the supports you may need.

Businesses and Non-Profits

  • Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advances: Questions and Application
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program: Questions and Application
  • Short-term bridge loans for restaurants and microbusinesses: Rhode Island restaurants and small businesses are eligible (businesses must have 1 to 10 employees; restaurants may have any number of employees). Applications available through org.
  • Microenterprise Stabilization Grant Program: Rhode Island’s microenterprise stabilization grant program will assist small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 and left out of federal stimulus programs to-date with grants of up to $5,000. The program will provide to qualifying microenterprises. Funds may be used for working capital to cover business costs, such as rent, staffing, utilities. Visit.
  • Technology support for Rhode Island businesses is available through Commerce RI (Tech Support for RI Businesses)
  • Rhode Island Small Business Hotline: (401) 521-HELP
  • Rhode Island nonprofit organizations at the forefront of COVID-19 response can apply for grants from the Rhode Island Foundation/United Way.
  • Rhode Island Superior Court business protection program for those that may have defaulted on their debts during this time
  • State and federal personal and business corporation tax filings have been extended until July 15th. 

Municipal Services 

As a reminder, our Town staff are also here to help. The Smithfield Town Hall and all other municipal buildings are closed to public traffic until further notice.  All departments are currently operating and all staff will be available by phone, email, or drop box located in the front of Town Hall. 

Voting 

As a reminder, Rhode Island’s Presidential Primary has been moved to June 2nd, and voting will be done through mail ballot. The Secretary of State’s Office will be sending mail ballots to voters. To make sure your information and address is up-to-date, visit: https://vote.sos.ri.gov/Voter/UpdateYourVoterRecord

Please visit the R.I. Department of Health website for factual up-to-date information or call 401-222-8022.

Thank you for your support and cooperation during this unprecedented time.

Sincerely,

Randy R. Rossi
Town Manager