Mayor Taveras, US Small Business Administration Renew Partnership to Support Business Growth, Development in Providence
RISBJ Staff | Jan 15, 2014
PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Angel Taveras joined Rhode Island District Director Mark S. Hayward of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) this morning to renew a first-of-its-kind, 18-month partnership to support business growth, economic development and job creation in the Capital City. The partnership addresses raising participation in state and federal incentive programs, one of the 20 action steps outlined in Mayor Taveras’ economic development action plan, Putting Providence Back to Work.
“The renewed partnership supports our work to encourage business growth, economic development and job creation in Providence,” said Mayor Taveras. “We are grateful to the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Center for Women and Enterprise, and SCORE for their continued partnership with the city to help our existing businesses to be successful and to encourage new businesses to open and thrive.”
The partnership was originally formed in May 2012 and was the first-ever agreement between the two public agencies to grow jobs and businesses in the Capital City. Over the course of the two-year agreement, the agencies hosted 12 workshops for nearly 150 individual businesses owners, equipping them with the skills to access working capital, write successful business plans, secure government contracts, participate in the federal procurement process, access state tax incentives, and become eligible women- and minority-owned businesses. The City and the SBA also introduced many start-ups and existing business owners to social media, HUB zone and Enterprise Zone certifications, as well as small business financing.
“We are extremely excited to continue our collaboration with Mayor Taveras and the City of Providence,” said Mark S. Hayward, district director of the SBA in Rhode Island. “For the past two years, it has been a partnership that has yielded outstanding results, and has helped small businesses gain access to the resources and information they need to at all levels of government.”
As a result of the renewed partnership, the free workshops will be held on a regular basis in various locations across the city, and presented to small business groups and merchant associations upon request. The new schedule of workshops is currently in development and will be posted to the city’s website at: www.providenceri.com/economic-development. The first workshop will be held in the beginning of February.
At the two-hour workshops, attendees meet with representatives of city, state and federal government and quasi-public agencies to learn how to access working capital, contracts and tax incentives, develop specific strategies to prevent loss and grow their bottom line, and network with other business owners. The workshops also provide an opportunity to arrange for free follow-on assistance as needed.
“The Rhode Island business community thanks Mayor Taveras and the U.S. SBA for extending this partnership and working to provide more business owners with the necessary resources and skills to help grow and strengthen their companies. Especially for small businesses and start-ups, access to information on federal contracts, state tax incentives and basic assistance for staff writing business plans can make a real difference,” said Laurie White, president of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. “Small businesses are the engine of our city’s economic growth and we look forward to our continued work together to ensure that businesses across the city have the information needed to take advantage of this program.”
The City has fostered partnerships with the U.S. Small Business Administration and other agencies, including the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center, Commerce RI, Southeastern Economic Development Corporation (SEED), the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s One Stop Office, and the Center for Women and Enterprise.
“I am very excited to continue our partnership with the City of Providence to provide local business owners with the technical assistance needed to grow their businesses and create jobs to contribute to the strength of the state’s economy,” said Carmen Diaz-Jusino, senior program director of the Center for Women and Enterprise.
“The Rhode Island chapter of SCORE is pleased to continue the organization’s 50-year record of working with towns, cities and states to help small businesses that are the cornerstone of our economy,” said George Hemond, SCORE’s chapter chairman. “Our Rhode Island staff of over 25 volunteer mentors, with extensive business experience, is here to help small businesses grow and prosper.”
This morning’s announcement was made at G-Form, a young and fast-growing international company based in the heart of Providence’s Knowledge District.
“G-Form has greatly benefited from being located in Providence – not only is it a sweet spot from an operational standpoint, but it offers a convenient and professional backdrop for visitors. As a young, fast-growing business, the Jewelry District especially helps us to maintain the image of a cutting-edge, innovative company,” said Thomas Cafaro, vice president of innovations, G-Form. “We’re very pleased to have contributed over 300 jobs throughout New England, many of them here in Rhode Island, and to have been able to take advantage of talent through the local colleges and universities.”