Small Business Loans in Rhode Island

Rhode Island, the Ocean State, offers a range of diverse industries to attract entrepreneurs for startups and growth. Local banks and financial institutions focus on economic development in their communities and have experience arranging loans that fit the needs of their small businesses. 

Types of Rhode Island Small Business Loans

Lenders in Rhode Island have experience structuring loans to all types of businesses unique to the state, such as biomedicine, defense shipbuilding, maritime products, and cyber and data analytics. These lenders can provide loans to finance short-term working capital needs or long-term loans for acquisition of fixed assets.

SBA Loans

Small Business Administration (SBA) loans are popular with lenders because they come with a partial federal guarantee that reduces their risk. Borrowers are attracted to SBA loans because of their longer repayment terms and generally lower interest payments. 

Line of Credit

Revolving lines of credit are convenient and flexible to finance temporary short-falls in cash flow. Borrowers can draw against their lines of credit as needed and repay the advances as cash becomes available. 

Term Loan

Term loans are used to finance large purchases of fixed assets. These loans are typically paid with fixed installments over several years.

Equipment Finance

Equipment finance loans allow small business owners to purchase expensive machinery and finance the payments over several years. 

Accounts Receivable Financing

Accounts receivable are an asset that lenders will accept as collateral to make cash advances against the face value of the invoices. This type of financing speeds up the cash flow for the small business owner. 

Rhode Island Small Business Loan Options

The Ocean State has numerous commercial banks, credit unions, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies that make loans available to small businesses. 

Commerce RI Small Business Loan Fund makes direct secured loans to existing businesses for working capital purposes.

Rhode Island Small Business Development Fund Program has a mission to provide financing for Rhode Island businesses to create and retain jobs.

Providence Business Loan Fund provides low-cost financing to Providence businesses to fund working capital, inventory, and non-permanent equipment.

How to apply for a small business loan

Fill out the 15-minute online application.

It’s secured with bank-grade encryption and SSL technology, so you know your information is safe.

Receive matches.

See which credit cards you qualify for before choosing the one that best suits your business needs and offers the cash rewards you’re looking for.

Get funded.

Once you choose a card, you can get approved in as little as 7-10 days.

Apply Now

FAQ about Small Business Loans in Rhode Island

Commerce RI promotes renewable energy projects with its Renewable Energy Fund, which has the goal of producing electricity in a sustainable manner and creating more jobs based on green technology. The Center for Women & Enterprise is a nonprofit organization that aims to build community economies by encouraging women to launch new businesses.

Small business owners in the Ocean State can get professional mentoring and advice from the retired executives at SCORE or from the SBA Small Business Development Center. Both of these organizations have offices located in Providence. The University of Rhode Island also provides support to small businesses with its Small Business Development Center.


The Commerce Rhode Island Renewable Energy Fund provides grants for renewable energy projects that are expected to produce electricity in a cleaner, sustainable environment. Rhode Island businesses can also find out if they qualify for federal grants by searching at


Each lender will have their own requirements to meet when applying for a loan in Rhode Island. Generally, most lenders will require a business plan, cash flow projections, an explanation for the purpose of the loan, a description of the collateral that will be used to secure the loan, and how the borrower intends to pay the loan back. 

The business will also need a defined structure, which could be a sole proprietorship, a corporation, or a limited liability company. If your business is a sole proprietorship, you’ll only need to register its name with the county, but if you decide to incorporate or form an LLC, you’ll have to file the registration with the Rhode Island Secretary of State.

The type of loan you need depends on how you intend to use the proceeds from the loan. Suppose you need to purchase a piece of equipment to manufacture a new product. In this case, you’ll want a loan with payments spread over several years to coincide with the cash flow generated from the sales of products made from the new machinery.

In another situation, you might need funds to support an increase in current assets resulting from a large sale or a seasonal rise in sales. A short-term revolving line of credit would meet this requirement since it would be paid back by future collection of accounts receivable or a decline in inventory.

Even though small businesses start out with a certain amount of owner’s equity, they will eventually need funds to support growth and expansion in the Ocean State. The business owner could solicit funds from other investors, but this would mean giving up a portion of their ownership. Taking out loans means the owner doesn’t have to relinquish control or give away any equity to outside parties.  

Quickly compare financing options from multiple funders.

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