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Navigant, R.I. Hispanic Chamber offer low-interest loans for Latinx small businesses

PROVIDENCE – The state’s largest credit union has partnered with a Hispanic business services group to try to help Latinx small-business owners secure bank...

Coalition launches to support minority- and women-owned businesses in R.I.

PROVIDENCE – Business leaders on Wednesday announced the launch of the Rhode Island Business Empowerment Network, a coalition of nearly 80 professionals dedicated to...
SMALL-BUSINESS STARTER: Providence-based Maternova Inc. was the first medtech venture to complete an accelerator program at Social Enterprise Greenhouse. The company’s founder, Meg Wirth, foreground, is now SEG’s director of health and wellness. / PBN FILE PHOTO/ELIZABETH GRAHAM

Lending some help to little guys

SMALL BUSINESS Ask any Rhode Island small-business owner if they could use more help – loans, grants, coaching, training programs – and it’s safe to...

Hispanic Chamber increases membership 900% during pandemic

PROVIDENCE – Azriel Arce can vividly remember the moment he learned about the Rhode Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s small-business resources and programs. It was...
LATINO ADVOCATE: Oscar Mejias, CEO of the Rhode Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, stands along Westminster Street in the Olneyville section of Providence that features an enclave of Latino-owned businesses.  / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Latino business leader: Some barriers lowered, but more to go

(Editor’s note: This is the second installment in a monthly series speaking with minority business owners and leaders. View the first installment here.)   Oscar Mejias...
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,...
DENIED: Elyse Farnsworth, owner of Arrow Salon in Providence, tried to apply through Bank of America for a Paycheck Protection Program loan but was turned down because she did not have a line of credit with the bank. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Certain businesses left behind in dash for stimulus loans?

Elyse Farnsworth was eagerly awaiting the rollout of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. The hair stylist and owner of Arrow Salon LLC...

R.I. lacks key data on minority businesses

People of color are underrepresented as business owners compared with their share of Rhode Island’s population, but getting a clear picture on the depth...
SIGNIFICANT IMPACT: Rhode Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Oscar Mejias, who is also a member of a steering committee guiding the state in determining how to best put the Cranston Street Armory, above, to use, says its reopening will have a significant impact on the surrounding community.
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

RFP planned for historic armory

It looks out of place: a medieval-style castle of pale-yellow brick, towering over the modest houses and storefronts in Providence’s West End neighborhood. One of...
LEGISLATIVE RECEPTION: Lobbyist George Zainyeh, left, speaks with Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce President and CEO John Gregory, center, and Robert Wheeler, owner of dog day care center Friends of Toto in Pawtucket, during the Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce Coalition’s annual legislative reception at the Statehouse on March 26.  
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Does R.I. have too many chambers?

It’s busy being half of a two-person, full-time staff for the state’s oldest wish-granting entity, A Wish Come True. The Warwick-based nonprofit grants wishes...
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