10th Annual Rhode Island Small Business Economic Summit To Be Held Friday, January 6, 2017 at Bryant University

 10th Annual Rhode Island Small Business Economic Summit To Be Held Friday, January 6, 2017 at Bryant University

The U.S. Small Business Administration and the Center for Women & Enterprise will partner to host the 10th Annual Rhode Island Economic Summit. This small business strategic planning conference will be held on January 6, 2017 at Bryant University in Smithfield.

The Rhode Island Economic Summit provides the venue for state elected officials and small business owners to engage in a dialogue and exchange ideas about issues of importance to small business in Rhode Island. The goal is to formulate and present a small business advocacy package designed and approved by summit participants. This is a great opportunity to speak directly to legislative leaders who can facilitate a positive business climate.

More than 175 small business owners, business leaders, and elected officials participated in the 2016 summit. This year’s forum will address business concerns and recommend solutions in seven key business areas: taxes and budget, health care, regulations, economic development, main street issues, workforce development, and emerging markets.


Here are the descriptions:

Health Care:

Works to create a cost effective, affordable healthcare system to Small and Medium size business. The committee works on issues to customized options including employee choice and defined contribution to help business owners stabilize their bottom line.


Identifies regulatory changes which can make Rhode Island an easier place to do business while sustaining public safety. State rules impacting labor management, construction/real estate development, energy, education and general cost of doing business are frequent areas of concern.

Tax & Budget:

Covers all state tax issues with the goal of making the RI tax system more competitive regionally and nationally. Concentrates on improving incentives that would contribute to a more vibrant RI Small Business economy, as well as addressing issues that affect the annual state budget.

Workforce Development:

Focuses on the skills gap needed to fulfill workplace requirements and the education and training employees needed to become gainfully employed. These necessary skills will eliminate significant barriers to employment.

Economic Development:

Covers issues including access to capital, small business assistance programs including counseling and training, developmental and business development issues facing small businesses.

Emerging Markets:

Minority businesses are starting up at unprecedented rates, and we can expect these businesses to play a key role in the health of our economy. Minority business start-ups and increased spending power within minority communities are creating new business opportunities for companies to grow their market. The committee will focus on understanding cultural issues, how to market correctly to this growing demographic and gaining access to capital.

Main Street:

Focuses on local initiatives to revitalize Rhode Island’s «main streets» by leveraging local assets and making thoughtful re-development and economy-boosting investments.