Entrepreneurship

Thomas V. Ward
Breeze Publications Inc. founder and publisher
More than two decades ago, Thomas V. Ward founded The Valley Breeze for $15,000 from his Cumberland living room. Today Breeze Publications publishes five editions across Rhode Island’s northern tier and provides proof that news organizations can be successful in attracting readers and revenue. / PBN PHOTO/DAVE HANSEN

Success comes when you ‘stick to your knitting’

While businesspersons I meet marvel at the staying power of a free community newspaper such as The Valley Breeze in this day and age,...
SOCIAL ENTERPRISE GREENHOUSE has received a $257,321 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to expand the organization’s footprint in Newport and Pawtucket/Central Falls.

SEG awarded $257K grant to expand into Newport, Pawtucket/Central Falls

PROVIDENCE – Social Enterprise Greenhouse has received a $257,321 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to expand the organization’s footprint in Newport and...
JOEY ASBEL was named winner of the Elevator Pitch Contest held by the Rhode Island Business Competition on Dec. 5.

R.I. Business Competition announces winners of Elevator Pitch Contest

PROVIDENCE – Joey Asbell won the 2018 Elevator Pitch Contest held by the Rhode Island Business Competition, the organization announced Thursday. Asbel’s pitch, Zap Technologies,...
CONTINUING CARE: Modern Eyes owners and optometrists Vincenzo Gianfrancesco and Kellie McMahon worked on the staff of an optometry firm in Bristol County, Mass., before going into business for themselves in Pawtucket and East Providence.
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

A vision for healthy eye care

What happens when two young optometrists go into business for themselves? They just might succeed. Vincenzo Gianfrancesco, 28, and Kellie McMahon, 30, are doing exactly...
CUSTOMER-FOCUSED: Adam Rizzo, left, franchise owner of 1-800 Water Damage, with Aaron Belanger, restoration tech. ­Rizzo said the company is customer-service oriented, geared toward meeting customers’ ­expectations.  
 / PBN PHOTO/Michael Salerno

Franchisee: Adam Rizzo

Franchisee: Adam Rizzo | 1-800 Water Damage | 140 Comstock Parkway, No. 9, Cranston The Pitch: 1-800 Water Damage offers carpet cleaning, fire/smoke restoration, mold...

Workers trapped by noncompetes

Why have wages been so slow to rise at a time when demand for workers has pushed the U.S. unemployment rate to its lowest...
ADAPTIVE REUSE: Erik Bright, right, has recently opened, and is now leasing, an adaptive reuse building at 47 Rathbone St. in Providence, which is catering to design and artist collaborations. With Bright is neighbor Tim Ferland of The Steel Yard.
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Rathbone Studios preserves piece of city’s commercial history

When Erik Bright purchased a Depression-era set of warehouses in 2016, the buildings had seen better times. Encrusted with graffiti and in disrepair, the warehouses...
FINANCIAL BOOST: A $100,000 Small Business Assistance Program loan from R.I. Commerce Corp. helped Shaidzon Beer co-owners Josh Letourneau, left, and Chip Samson launch their brewing company in South Kingstown. / PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Commerce RI helps secure $10M for small businesses through SBAP loans

From kegs and bottles to packaging materials and professional costs, when Shaidzon Beer Co. was setting up in the months prior to its November...
Bruce Newbury

Sarto has sense of place

Some restaurants are menu-driven, others price-driven. One of the newest downtown Providence restaurants describes itself as “neighborhood-driven.” The new Sarto on Weybosset Street is a...
CAREER CHANGE: Jose and Lyndsey Pachon, co-owners of Nexus Property Management in Fall River. Jose Pachon was previously a professional poker player, but after being unable to increase his income playing poker locally, he began looking for a career change and developed a business relationship with Nexus founder and CEO Nicholas D’Agnillo, who he met through his poker playing.
 / PBN PHOTO/DAVE HANSEN

Franchisees: Jose and Lyndsey Pachon

Franchisee: Jose and Lyndsey Pachon Nexus Property Management | 251 South Main St., Fall River The pitch: Nexus Property Management, with a corporate office based in...
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