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ReThinkPVD is a campaign to redefine how people experience our world-class cuisine, our unique neighborhoods and local economy. COVID-19 has hit our small businesses hard but our city has always come together to repair, rebuild and remerge stronger than ever when faced with challenges.

Take It Outside PVD

 As we gear up for the holiday season, Take it Outside PVD is supporting new and enhanced outdoor programming and virtual opportunities that encourage visitors to patronize neighborhood restaurants and retail safely. Upcoming events include:

  1. Washington Park Square Virtual Christmas Tree Lighting (December 4)
  2. Virtual City Hall Tree Lighting (December 5)
  3. Christmas on the Parkway: A Virtual Celebration (December 6)
  4. The Avenue Concept Public Art Night Lighting (December 18-19)
  5. City Council Holiday Lightings (Multiple dates)
  6. Nutcracker Sweets presented by the Festival Ballet (Multiple dates)

 To learn more about Take It Outside projects and events happening across the City including tree lightings, performances, business strolls, outdoor markets, and more, click here.

Maximizing Adjacent Outdoor Spaces

The City has made accommodations to allow restaurants to expand outdoor dining this fall. Learn more here.

In partnership with The Steel Yard, Mayor Elorza and the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism are offering a limited quantity of one-of-a-kind parklets (see image below). Priority will be given to restaurants and retailers located outside of Downtown and women/BIPOC owned businesses.

Requests should be made through the City’s Board of Licenses application, located here.

With funding from the Take It Outside initiative, the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce can reimburse businesses up to $5,000 for items that facilitate a safe and successful transition to outdoor activities. Eligible expenses include pop-up tents/canopies, tables/chairs, signage, storage units, workstations, waste receptacles, shelving, dry erase boards, power supplies, and IT capabilities. Learn more and apply online here.

The Providence Revolving Fund is taking applications for grants to Restaurants, Bakeries and Markets or other businesses/entities serving prepared foods and/or refreshments. Grants can be used for the purchase of patio heaters, outdoor tables and chairs, plexiglas, umbrellas, or other items needed for outdoor dining in an effort to encourage and increase outdoor activities for all Rhode Islanders in an effort to reduce the transmission rate of COVID-19. Learn more and apply online here.

 These initiatives are funded through a grant from the Rhode Island Commerce “Take It Outside Initiative”.

Outdoor Special Events

Special events are an important part of Providence’s cultural life. The City of Providence will continue to waive application fees and city service expenses through January 1, 2021.

Online applications and new COVID guidelines are available here. Applicants must complete and submit the REOPENING RI Event Template form and designate a COVID compliance officer for the event.

The City’s modified special event permitting reflects the State’s guidelines for public gatherings. The interdepartmental City Service team reviews outdoor multi-restaurant restaurant and retail street closures requested for a period of more than 30-days on a monthly basis. The City reserves the right to request modifications based on current public health and safety standards for RI.

As part of the Take It Outside PVD activities, a City COVID Concierge service is available to assist event organizers with safe distancing, ensuring compliance with face covering requirements, and providing a welcoming presence to customers.

The Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau (PWCVB) has launched an Event Lending Library to provide tourism-related businesses, neighborhood associations, and other non-profits in the Providence/Warwick area with access to equipment for outdoor events. With more than 600 pieces of equipment available, the lending library contains a lot of those necessary yet hard-to-find or hard-to-store items to host an outdoor event during a New England winter. Community partners can complete an online application at to request items such as tables, chairs, tents, heat lamps, sanitization equipment, and more. Items can be checked out for one to two weeks at a time at no cost.

Borrowing Equipment for your Event

The Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau has purchased equipment to lend to event organizers and local businesses to support outdoor dining and programming. Use the Take It Outside application to inquire about availability.

About Take It Outside

Funding for Take It Outside activities are provided by Governor Gina Raimondo and Rhode Island Commerce.  More information about this initiative and other Providence projects are available at:

Maximizing Adjacent Outdoor Spaces

The City has made accommodations to allow restaurants to expand outdoor dining this fall. Learn more here.

In partnership with The Steel Yard, Mayor Elorza and the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism are offering “PVD CARES OUTSIDE/ PVD NOS CUIDA AFUERA” kits (see image below) for Providence businesses and non-profit organizations to take their businesses outside. These unique one-of-a-kind kits allow each business to expand into the equivalent of 2 parking spaces. Preference is given to businesses located outside of downtown, minority and women-owned businesses, and to organizations run by and serving frontline communities.

 These kits will not only provide the infrastructure necessary for businesses to operate outside, but they will also continue to keep the streets of the creative capital vibrant and support local artists. 

 Each kit contains two tents, traffic barriers, lights, extension cords and cord coverings.


Pictured: Steel Yard Parklet

Parking Perks

Starting May 22, 2020 through January 1, 2021 free two-hour parking will be available in designated commercial districts throughout Providence. Two hours of free parking will be offered every day from 10:00 AM until 9:00 PM in the following commercial districts:

  • Angell Street
  • Atwells Avenue – Bradford Street to Knight Street
  • Spruce Street – Dean Street to Acorn Street
  • Dean Street – Atwells Avenue to West Exchange Street
  • Acorn Street – Spruce Street to Atwells Avenue
  • Bradford Street – Atwells Avenue to Jones Street
  • Bond Street – Atwells Avenue to Spruce Street
  • Broad Street – Public Street to Montgomery Street
  • Downtown Providence – bounded by Fountain Street, Memorial Boulevard, Weybosset Street, Empire Street and Friendship Street (from Dyer Street to Dorrance Street)
  • Hope Street – Rochambeau Avenue to Blackstone Boulevard
  • North Main Street – Thomas Street to Park Row
  • Olneyville Square – Route 10 to Sydney Street and Delaine Street to Atwood Street to Magnolia Street
  • South Main Street – James Street to Packet Street
  • Point Street – From Eddy to East Franklin Street
  • Thayer Street – Bowen Street to Waterman Street
  • Wayland Square – East Angell Street/Angell Street to Gano Street and Wayland Avenue from Angell Street to Pitman Street
  • Waterman Avenue
  • Wickenden/Ives – Wickenden Street at Benefit Street to Ives Street at Preston Street

While parking meter violations will not be issued during free two-hour parking in legal parking spots in the specified districts, parking time limits will be enforced.


More Information on Providence’s COVID-19 Response

For more information on COVID-19, current small business supports and best practices you can share, residents can visit our website, call to connect to the Mayor’s Center for City Services by dialing 3-1-1, visiting or downloading the PVD311 mobile app on your smartphone for 24/7 access. Residents can register to receive CodeRED emergency notifications by phone, email, text, and/or mobile alerts for the latest updates from the City and to reach out to the Rhode Island Department of Health’s COVID-19 Assistance Line at 401-222-8022 Monday through Friday during regular business hours should they have additional questions.