State releases online tools for restaurants and bars subject to early-closing

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation has unveiled a new webpage, online application form, and FAQs as part of a relief program announced by Gov. Gina Raimondo for restaurants and bars that have been ordered to close earlier than usual because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Raimondo developed the relief program to coincide with her Executive Order that mandates early shutdown for bars and restaurants – part of a range of measures aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus and reducing the rising number of coronavirus cases.

Using federal Coronavirus Relief Funds, the governor authorized the payment of grants to the impacted businesses.
Each such grant will range from a minimum of $2,000 to a maximum of $10,000. Details of the new program – including an online application form, answers to frequently asked questions, and contact information – are available at:

Smithfield company to hire 100

High Purity New England, a supplier of custom biopharma solutions, is undergoing a major hiring campaign to onboard more than 100 new employees between now and January, to staff their growing manufacturing and corporate offices located in northern Rhode Island.

In addition to their recruiting efforts, they have taken to placing an electronic billboard on the busy road along their building just off of I-295, due to the immediate need to fill manufacturing positions, which will directly support COVID-19 related production. They are also actively working in conjunction with the government program “Operation Warp Speed.” The company, while already on an exponential growth trajectory for the past six consecutive years according to a release, has exploded in 2020, as the industry rushes to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, the company opened its second facility and office space near their current headquarters and is on the cusp of expansion once again.

“Demand for our products is higher than ever before,” said founder and CEO Mark Sitcoske. “The pace of manufacturing has increased dramatically. We are hiring for a lot of positions with a heavy focus on manufacturing, needing everything from Clean Room Assemblers and Production
Supervisors to Product Managers and Warehouse team.”

HPNE supplies the biotech, pharma, and life-science industries with a range of products, including their flagship product, custom single-use assemblies. They maintain distributors throughout Europe and California and continue to expand their teams as they prepare to launch new products in 2021.

High Purity New England is currently providing flexible, single-use solutions to companies developing vaccines in the fight to combat COVID-19.

For additional information, images and interview opportunities, please contact, Chloe Wigsten at HPNE: or (401) 207-7183.

2021 Autumnfest Executive Committee Elected

The Autumnfest Steering Committee held their annual Reorganizational Meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 10. As part of the meeting, the Autumnfest Steering Committee elected Garrett Mancieri to once again be this year’s Autumnfest general chairperson. Judy Sullivan and Stephanie Santoro have been elected co-vice chairpersons, Cindy Johnston was elected as treasurer and Adam Brunetti was elected as secretary.

“It was with great sadness and disappointment that we had to cancel our signature event this year due to COVID-19 and we are anxiously awaiting the opportunity to bring this festival back to Woonsocket next year,” said Mancieri. “This organization has grown so much over the past few years and developed an incredible reputation as a true and dedicated community service committee. I am most proud of our strong family commitment to each other that will enable us to make 2021 a truly wonderful and special occasion that will unite our community and showcase what we have to offer to our region.”

Mancieri has served on the Autumnfest Steering Committee since 2017. He has been the fundraising coordinator for two years, vice chairman for one year, and was the general chairperson of Autumnfest for 2019 and 2020. He is a licensed realtor with Mancieri Real Estate in Woonsocket. He also serves on many boards and as executive director of the Downtown Woonsocket Collaborative.

Ocean State Job Lot and iHeart Radio Partner for 9th Annual Three Square Meals Food Drive

Ocean State Job Lot and iHeart Radio, through B101-FM, 94 HJY-FM and Coast 93.3-FM, have announced the 9th annual Three Square Meals Food Drive. Non-perishable food donations will be collected at all 16 OSJL stores in Rhode Island through November 20.

Beneficiaries of the food collection include pantries, kitchens and churches across the state of Rhode Island and the USA Veterans and Military Support Foundation, a nonprofit corporation with a location in Central Falls, whose mission is to provide programs, services and goods that help satisfy critical needs and enhance the wellbeing and quality of life for veterans, active-duty military, National Guard, Coast Guard, and their families. Be the Change, The Jonnycake Center, Rhode Island Center Assisting Those in Need, the Riverside Food Pantry as well as additional food pantries, kitchens, churches and food insecurity programs across Rhode Island will receive donations.

Additionally, OSJL is currently accepting monetary donations at all registers in each of its 143 stores across the region to support its Charitable Foundation’s “Three Square Meals,” hunger relief program: the single largest food assistance program of its kind in the northeast, which delivers more than 8 million pounds of food and 11 million meals annually.

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