Despite relatively strong growth in the number of women-owned businesses in the state, Rhode Island ranks near the bottom of the nation in the overall strength of that segment of the state’s economy.
By Brendan L. McKenna
A business that serves commercial fishermen has built-in challenges, among them weather, changing fish populations and federal regulations that substantially impact planning and development. To survive and thrive, a marine design and supply business has to be nimble, innovative and just plain determined.
Bristol’s Dynamic Bicycles Inc. sees opportunity in the growing popularity of public and private bike-share networks. The company makes shaft drive systems that propel bicycles without a chain, potentially a major advantage for riders, such as tourists, not dressed in clothes designed for cycling. “It is an exploding market and one that benefits the most from chainless technology,” said company founder Patrick Perugini. Above, from left, Dynamic employees Justin Plamondon and Jaime Raposa, with owners Devin Kelly and Perugini.
Forty percent of Rhode Island small-business owners consider Rhode Island’s regulatory environment relatively poor compared with other states, and 66 percent believe there are too many regulations imposed on businesses in the state, according to the R.I. Office of Regulatory Reform’s 2014 Small Business Survey.
A smaller percentage of Rhode Island small-business owners view social media as an effective tool for customer engagement compared with business owners nationwide, according to the 2014 Cox Business Barometer released Monday.
Unpredictable weather, changing fish populations and federal regulation continue to challenge the region’s commercial-fishing industry. But the business of supplying that industry remains strong for family-owned Reidar’s Trawl Gear and Marine Supply, which expanded to a 21,000-square-foot New Bedford building last July. Above, owner Reidar Bendiksen, left, and son Tor Bendiksen, chief operating officer; with employees Meghan Lapp, front, and Sarah Fortin. The women are building a groundfish net.
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