The Newport County Chamber of Commerce (NCCC) is committed to promoting the state and local business community and creating a healthy business environment in Newport County and Rhode Island. As the second largest Chamber in the State, with over 1100 member businesses, the NCCC represents over 35,000 employees.
Key industries within the Newport County and East Bay business communities include defense, marine trades and hospitality and tourism. Chamber Executive Director Jody Sullivan served on the State of Rhode Island’s America’s Cup Host Committee as well as the Ocean State Tall Ships Board of Directors. As a member of these organizations, the Chamber worked to maximize the economic impact to the state and local business community. Additionally, the Chamber’s non-profit 501(c)(3), the Newport County Development Council (NCDC), is currently administering several state and federal grants on behalf of county municipalities and the defense industry. The NCDC has partnered with the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation to commission a regional defense economic impact study in preparation for future Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closures (BRACs). General regional preliminary findings of this study have been released and are available on the Chamber’s website, www.NewportChamber.com. More specific in-depth information specifically on Rhode Island will be available in September.
The NCDC recently successfully applied for a Rhode Island Foundation grant to create a strategic plan for the NCDC to become a proactive regional economic development agency. Initial conversations with regional stakeholders were very supportive of this concept. This is an opportunity to formally and cohesively promote our region to potential investors as well as to facilitate the growth and expansion of our existing businesses. The NCCC and the NCDC will continue to identify opportunities and lead efforts to preserve and expand these industries.
In addition to the traditional Chamber program of networking, educational opportunities, discounts and promotional opportunities for members, the Chamber also focuses on legislative advocacy. During the 2012 legislative session, the Newport County Chamber of Commerce testified before House and Senate Finance Committees on behalf of the business community. The NCCC also belongs to the Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce Coalition and, together with eleven other Rhode Island Chambers, works to create a less burdensome regulatory and tax environment for Rhode Island businesses. By advocating for pro-business legislation and working to eliminate regulations that are counterproductive to a healthy business environment, the Chamber is working on behalf of all its members with a more powerful voice than any one business standing alone.
On behalf of the Chamber Board of Directors and Staff, thank you to all of our 1100 members that have invested in the quality of life and economic wellbeing of our Newport County and Rhode Island Community.