Hi there. Yesterday I talked to Phil Slocum, who owns a small business in Warwick. They’ve been there for 70 years, and he told me it’s his whole world.
When I first took office, a new business owner in Warwick would need to fill out as many as 40 different forms. Now, because of our reforms, it could be as few as just one.
This week, we committed to doing more to help out small businesses. I announced a program that will help cities and towns cut red tape, so small businesses can get what they need quicker.
We also announced Supply RI, which challenges our biggest companies, like Amica and Blue Cross, to buy goods and services from our small businesses.
Even a small change could have a big impact. If our colleges, universities and hospitals shifted just two percent of their contracts to Rhode Island companies, it could add more than 50 million dollars to our economy and create hundreds of new jobs.
This helps business owners like Jhonny Leyva, who owns Heroica Construction in Providence. He told me the opportunity to connect with bigger employees would be priceless for his company.
And today, I’m at Riffraff, a new bookstore and bar in Olneyville. It’s owned by Emma Ramadan and Tom Roberge, and it’s here today because of our small business loan program.
Emma and Tom had a great idea, and they almost had everything in place—but they needed a little help to get their business off the ground. So, they applied for a Small Business Loan from Commerce RI. Today, the doors are open, and it’s a great place to come for a drink or a good book to read.
Small businesses keep us going in Rhode Island. We’re going to continue to give back and support them.
Thanks, and have a great weekend.