Valois believes EDC ‘up to the task’ of rebuilding its reputation
MARCEL A. VALOIS, executive director of the R.I. Economic Development Corporation, said the agency is collaborating with the Economic Development Foundation of Rhode Island and the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce on a campaign to promote Rhode Island’s business appeal. The campaign, set to launch in the coming months, is part of Valois' plan to earn back the agency's reputation, lost after the 38 Studios debacle.
PROVIDENCE – Marcel A. Valois, executive director of the R.I. Economic Development Corporation, believes the agency must earn back its reputation by reaching out to local businesses and focusing on “the nuts and bolts” of economic development, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.
Valois – who took over the EDC in May following the 38 Studios collapse in 2012 that left the state on the hook for an estimated $89 million – said the organization is working with the Economic Development Foundation of Rhode Island and the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce on a campaign to promote Rhode Island’s business appeal, slated to launch in the coming months.
“Sure, our reputation out there has been tarnished over 38 Studios, and it may be perceived that we’re beleaguered, but we wake up every morning, we work hard and we work on programs and activities that make a difference,” Valois said in an interview with the AP.
Valois mentioned that the EDC is considering the possibility of instituting new financing programs to replace the discontinued loan guarantee the state offered to 38 Studios in 2010. Rhode Island and the EDC are suing 38 Studios founder Curt Schilling, former EDC officials and financial firms involved in the $75 million deal over allegations of conspiring to push the loan through by hiding key information from the EDC board of directors.
Dispelling the conception that the EDC picks “winners and losers” rather than reaching out to existing businesses is one of Valois’ goals for the agency, as is promoting Rhode Island as a competitive business community in the Northeast region.
“Rhode Islanders must look forward,” he said. “We need to rebuild the confidence in Rhode Island and its institutions and set the base for new economic resurgence. We’re up to the task.”