Updated March 27 at 12:27am

SBANE: Only transformative change can save R.I. economy


WALTHAM, Mass. – The keys to turning around Rhode Island’s economy are new ideas and workable solutions, according to a report released by the Rhode Island chapter of the Small Business Association of New England.

The report, “Shared Goals Can Move R.I. Forward,” announced developments from SBANE Rhode Island’s Economic Development Committee, which is charged with strategizing and recommending ideas to improve the Ocean State’s faltering economy.

“For too many years, our members have watched in dismay as Rhode Island’s economy has withered, our tax base has eroded and Rhode Island has grown increasingly inhospitable to business relative to other states. We are committed to turning that around,” said the report, written by Ken Block and John Cronin, chair and vice chair, respectively, of SBANE’s Economic Development Committee.

According to the report, the starting block to change is understanding why Rhode Island’s economy is faltering compared to other states in the nation.

“Our group quickly reached a consensus that Rhode Island suffers economically because of the lack of a clear set of shared goals between the public and private sector - and even between different branches of our government,” said the report, adding that “once we can agree on goals, we can create a common plan for how to fix our economy.”

The consensus from SBANE’s Rhode Island chapter was that the state needed “fundamental, transformative change.”

“To fix something this big, incremental change just won’t do,” said the report.

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