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DIVERSE WORKFORCE: C.C. Business Corp. Vice President Ron Brewer, left, and President Marcellus Sharpe stand outside of Thundermist Health Center in Woonsocket, one of the private-security company’s clients. Brewer estimates that 70% of the company’s 39 employees are minorities. / PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY

A question of equity: Can R.I. level the field for minority...

As small-business owners clambered to get in on the federal payroll relief program launched in the wake of COVID-19, Anna Mangeni held back. Her business,...

Demand surges at NBX Bikes despite backlog for orders

Bicycles are so in again that they’re out of stock. So many people want them – not just in Rhode Island but globally –...

‘Plant nerd’ brings unique, diverse inventory to Providence

A gardening store that features unusual varieties of familiar perennials is a new addition to Providence. Homegrown, which opened in May, has both houseplants...
CHANGE-MAKER: Rita Danielle Steele, right, owner of Steele Realty Consultants International, meets with Shamila Ahmed, an associate broker. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Love of learning has guided Steele’s path

Rita Danielle Steele has had to make some adjustments in how her company, Steele Realty Consultants International LLC, does business in response to COVID-19....
Patrice Milos / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Five Questions With: Patrice Milos, Cherrystone Angel Group executive director

1. How does your experience as co-founder of a startup inform your strategy in your new role at Cherrystone? Angel investors must keep pace...
MATCHMAKER: Debra L’Heureux, owner of Get Ready to Date LLC in Barrington, offers personalized matchmaking and dating-coach services for seniors. / PBN PHOTO/ELIZABETH GRAHAM

She makes the dating game personal

Debra L’Heureux has always been a matchmaker of sorts. First it was pairing Johnson & Wales University students with their dream careers during her time...
UP IN ARMS: Despite an anticipated 40% increase in annual sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dean Chapman, owner of gun stores Pheasant Ridge Inc. in Seekonk and River Street Tactical Inc. in Woonsocket, was not happy when he was forced to close his Seekonk store after initial stay-at-home orders in Massachusetts did not deem gun stores as essential ­businesses. / PBN PHOTO/NANCY LAVIN

Pandemic triggers a boom for Seekonk gun store

A gun can’t kill a virus, but that hasn’t stopped customers from swarming Pheasant Ridge Inc. amid the new coronavirus. In his 30-plus years in...
NEW DIRECTION: Jo Lee, owner of PopUp Rhody, in her home office in Providence. She is revamping her online marketplace designed to connect artisans with property owners with space to rent. / PBN PHOTO/ELIZABETH GRAHAM

Business incubator born in response to COVID-19

Jo Lee’s new business was on the fast track to success. In a single year, she’d transformed PopUp Rhody LLC from an idea into a...
KITCHEN TIME: Josh Berner, owner of the food truck HG80, uses commercial-grade equipment at the Providence Kitchen Collaborative to prep ingredients before heading out on the road. / PBN PHOTO/ELIZABETH GRAHAM

New life breathed into kitchen collaborative

Restaurants and other food businesses, like many small businesses, have high failure rates. How to get started in the business while learning the ropes?...
MADE IN R.I.: Cynthia Treen, left, and Clare King, co-owners of isewMasks, use locally sourced materials from Rhode Island-based companies in their do-it-yourself mask-making kits. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

These DIY face mask kits have dual purpose

isewMasks do-it-yourself mask-making kit products are locally manufactured, affordable and designed to teach new skills while filling a need during the coronavirus ­pandemic. Founders Propel...

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