NEW OWNER: Kayla Thompson is the owner of Melissa Ashley Brides in Westerly. Thompson bought her wedding dress at the bridal shop seven years ago and befriended the former owner, Denise Pellegrino, who later hired Thompson. The pair came to a “personal finance agreement” that transitioned ownership to Thompson when Pellegrino was ready to sell.
 / PBN PHOTO/DAVE HANSEN

Financing biggest hurdle to employees becoming boss

When Kayla Thompson walked into Melissa Ashley Brides in Westerly in search of a wedding dress about seven years ago, she had no idea...
IMPROVED PERFORMANCE: Stephen J. White, president and CEO of Westerly Community Credit Union, said the credit union’s net worth has improved since 2011 and it has had “very low delinquency” on loans in recent years.
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Strong ratings for banks, credit unions

Looking down the federal government’s list of failed banks since 2000, it’s hard to believe there was ever a banking crisis in New England...
BUCKING THE TREND: Brian A. Azar, senior vice president and chief lending officer at Navigant Credit Union, speaks with Deborah Drechnowicz, center, mortgage underwriting supervisor, and Lisa Grimo, mortgage loan underwriter. Unlike most banks, which saw their mortgage loan volume go down, Navigant reported an 8 percent increase from 2017 to 2018.
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Mortgage rates increase, loan volume drops during tumultuous 2018

After a tumultuous stock market performance in 2018 – especially during the last month of the year amid holiday celebrations – many banks’ mortgage...
ON HOLD: Pictured is an artist’s rendering of planned permanent headquarters to house the state archives. The $52 million project has been stalled due to a lack of budget funds.
 / COURTESY DBVW ARCHITECTS

Lack of funds preventing design and construction of new state archives...

For decades, Rhode Islanders have sought a permanent facility to house, preserve and exhibit the documents collected in the state archives.A July 1924 Providence...

Mass. recording ban unconstitutional

A journalist, or a citizen with a tape recorder, secretly records the conversation or debate involving an elected official or a police officer, in...
ASSESSMENT FEE: Gov. Gina M. Raimondo has proposed a fiscal 2020 budget that includes a Medicaid Employer Assessment Fee, which if approved would annually charge companies that employ 300 or more workers as much as a $1,500 penalty per employee who was not offered health insurance but then qualified for state-supported Medicaid.
 / PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Raimondo proposes new fee to ensure employers offer health insurance

A powerful disincentive for not offering employees health care insurance is included in the proposed 2020 budget introduced by Gov. Gina M. Raimondo.If a...
HELPING HAND: Customer-service representative Ramon Chevas German, right, assists a client with health insurance at a HealthSource RI center in East ­Providence.
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Raimondo budget supports reinsurance program

Gov. Gina M. Raimondo’s budget includes proposals she says are intended to keep health insurance affordable for thousands of Rhode Islanders, in response to...
RARE PROPERTY: Mary Philbin, an agent with Mott & Chace Sotheby’s International Realty, stands in the great room of a 3,600-square-foot, single-level, clapboard home set on 15 acres, abutted by conservancy land, in the Matunuck village of South Kingstown.  
 / PBN PHOTO/DAVID HANSEN

Requests for privacy are increasing among luxury buyers in R.I.

Luxury buyers want more than a beautiful view, modern kitchens and open layouts that allow them to carry on conversations across rooms with family...
WEATHER-RESISTANT: Jeff Sweenor, owner of Sweenor Builders in South Kingstown, points to the house that architectural designer Lori Foley has on screen that is located in South Kingstown and uses helical piers that screw down to bedrock and breakaway lower walls that let the water go right through. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Fighting back vs. extreme weather

Weather-related damage from fierce hurricanes, flooding, storm surges and intensified UV rays does not discriminate between high-end or low-income housing.In Rhode Island, however, some...
READY FOR LED Nearly half of Rhode Island’s 39 cities and towns have completed a purchase program that allows them to own the streetlights lining their roads and switch them to LED fixtures. Another 15 communities have begun the process of purchasing streetlights from National Grid. / SOURCE: RHODE ISLAND LEAGUE OF CITIES AND TOWNS

Municipalities saving with LED streetlights

A mid-December status report from the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns shows nearly half of the state’s communities have purchased their streetlights...
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