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DOWN TO BUSINESS: The House Committee on Finance’s Subcommittee on Human Services holds a meeting at the Statehouse in December to get an update on overspending at the R.I. Department of Children, Youth and Families, and the R.I. Office of Veterans Services. / PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY

Budget deficit, lottery contract, minimum wage among controversial issues facing General...

As Rhode Island lawmakers return for the 2020 legislative session on Jan. 7, some of the most pressing questions they’re expected to face this...
Gov. Gina M. Raimondo

Strained relations among R.I. leaders ‘not personal’

In 2015, the state budget introduced by Gov. Gina M. Raimondo sailed through the Rhode Island legislative chambers in what many described as record...
PRICES FOR ALL: Boscov’s, a family-owned department store, opened just a few months ago in Providence Place mall. Denise and Walter Budz, of Providence, check out with Islene DeOleo, sales associate. “There are prices for everyone here,” said Walter Budz, who spent 46 years in retail at Ann & Hope, Ames and Walmart. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

R.I. malls finding new ways to get people in the door

In one area of Providence Place mall, a couple of small children are working intently in a toddler-size veterinary clinic, treating a gray stuffed...
NEEDED TREATMENT: Susan Benzuly, owner of Evolve Apothecary and Spa in Providence, says selling spa time to customers who are giving the treatments as gifts has become a key part of her business during the holidays. “Self-care is not a luxury; it is a necessity,” she said. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

‘Intangible’ holiday gifts are big business for spas, hotels

“Give the gift of time.” It’s a sales pitch for a watch, right? Not always. Sometimes the gift of time is actual time – quiet time,...
APPEALING SPOT: Plant City in Providence has been hailed as the world’s first plant-based food hall. It features two sit-down restaurants, a market, coffee bar and a build-your-own-bowl station. Owner Kimberley Anderson said the food hall served 200,000 people in its first five months of operation. / PBN PHOTO/MIKE SKORSKI

R.I. restaurant industry experiencing a plant-based boom

On a busy Saturday morning inside Plant City food hall in Providence, owner Kimberley Anderson found time to strike up conversations with customers who...
CARETAKER: Jo Ellen Mistarz is the executive director of The Village Common of Rhode Island, which has its office at Hamilton House in Providence and connects seniors with volunteer services. Despite the thousands of elderly people in Rhode Island, Mistarz says only about 200 are members of organizations such as the Providence Village, which is part of the Village Common. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Movement to help elders ‘age in place’ expanding in R.I.

For Anne Connor, a volunteer with the nonprofit Providence Village of Rhode Island since its inception in 2015, giving rides to elderly members isn’t...
NEW ARRIVALS: Jack Siravo, center, owner of Belmont Market in South Kingstown, with his managers, Brian McConnell, left, and Thomas Lake. Siravo says a lot of new customers arrived at his store during the labor dispute that shuttered many Stop & Shop supermarkets for more than a week in April. The independent grocer has seen an increase in sustained new sales since the strike ended. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

R.I. independent grocers capitalize in wake of Stop & Shop strike

The disruptive strike that hit Stop & Shop, Rhode Island’s largest grocery chain, for more than a week in April is still being felt...
BRIDGE BUZZ: Bryan Lavin, an assistant professor at Johnson & Wales University’s College of Hospitality Management, says the pedestrian bridge in Providence has been generating positive reviews in the tourism space. / BN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

R.I. tourism inches toward sustainability as threats from climate change, ‘overtourism’...

About 25 million visitors drive, fly and sail into Rhode Island each year. Mansions, restaurants, theaters and historical sites attract their fair share of...
STUDENT-FOCUSED: R.I. Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green says Providence’s nearly 24,000 students will be her focus, as she leads the state takeover of the city’s public school system. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Business a key part of Infante-Green’s blueprint for takeover of Providence...

R.I. Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green has been in Rhode Island for less than a year, but she now finds herself trying to fix a...
LIFE SKILLS: Stephen Cronin, a sales executive with Signature Printing in East Providence, volunteers at Hope High School in Providence, teaching students interpersonal and research skills desired by employers. / PBN PHOTO/MIKE SKORSKI

Business community debates best way to help Providence schools

The Providence schools need an infusion of energy and expertise. Business owners and leaders are being asked to commit staff and financial resources to...

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R.I. has first two deaths related to COVID-19; Raimondo issues stay-at-home order / Once healthy R.I. companies suddenly facing painful choices