Chafee lays out new priorities for EDC – existing businesses, urban cores

PROVIDENCE – Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee put his new priorities for the R.I. Economic Development Corporation on display Monday, stressing the need for the agency to focus on building existing assets such as Warwick Station Redevelopment District near T.F. Green Airport and assisting Main Street businesses in the state’s urban communities. In Chafee’s first meeting…

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5 COMMENTS

  1. More foolish and outright harmful social engineering from Chafee. The leading criteria for using RI’s very limited resources to aid small businesses should not be that they are minority owned. It should be based on whether they show the greatest prospects for success and job creation. The EDC should not be wasting our money on so-called “social justice.” It should be making businesslike decisions for the good of all residents not dabbling in left-wing causes. And Chafee should pull his head out of the 60s and support what works not what doesn’t work but makes him feel good.

  2. I have not heard or read anything about Gov. Chafee’s plans for economic development to lead me to believe that they were focused on minority-owned businesses. Some people – I guess those that don’t live in the cities because they are uncomfortable with diversity – appear to believe that only poor minorities live here. As a former resident of Providence – and Elmwood – for 20 years, I can assure those of you think that way that (1) some of us white folks (and non-white folks who can afford to live wherever we want to) actually appreciate diverse urban communities and all that they offer – culturally, socially, food-wise, etc etc etc; and (2) there are many successful minority- and non-minority owned small businesses in our cities. Even on Broad Street in Providence. Imagine that!

    On another note, national magazines like Inc. and Fast Company have been touting the POTENTIAL and proven impact of small businesses on the economy for several months now. Their message is that it is SMALL BUSINESSES that will lead us out of the recession far faster – and stronger (with better paying jobs) than corporations.

    Finally, FYI, according to SBA definitions- “small business” is defined as one that has revenues of over $1M/year. “Micro-businesses” are those that have revenue of less than $1M/year. There are many successful small businesses that fall into the “micro” category, and always will — but they provide stable jobs for many people.