An Industry of Opportunity

By The Rhode Island Hospitality Association

The hospitality industry is an economic cornerstone in the State of Rhode Island. In 2014, the industry provided more than $189.9 million dollars to state coffers in the form of meals & beverage taxes, tax on food service and hotel tax. One of the largest employers, more than 70,000 folks from college students working part-time, to those who make a career in our industry, choose hospitality as an industry of opportunity and advancement.

The RI Hospitality Association represents more than 600 foodservice, hotels, vendors and hospitality members in the state of Rhode Island and has been the voice of the hospitality and foodservice industries in the state since 1982. Its mission is to develop and provide programs, services and support to members by protecting their interests, promoting industry partnerships, and provide education and leadership so that members receive a definable value for their investment.

Each year, the Association hosts an impressive schedule of events, meetings, seminars, training and education classes,and website communications targeting the hospitality industry.

Through its educational arm, the RI Hospitality Education Foundation and Association develops, supports, and promotes career growth opportunities within the hospitality industry to benefit students, organizations, and the economy. It achieves this mission through its focus on career awareness, providing work-readiness training, and offering occupational skills training for youth, unemployed adults, and incumbent employees.

This year to date, the RI Hospitality Education Foundation has trained more than 672 students and adult-learners. In its history, this number has reached more than 3,500 students who have taken advantage of classes that span from Hospitality Training, to ServSafe Food Safety Training, ServSafe Online Classes and myriad partnership programs with community organizations.

The RI Hospitality Association membership benefits reach beyond training to include an extensive array of cost-saving measures, such as a natural gas and electricity buying program. These offerings have helped save members thousands of dollars annually on their utility bills.

Lastly, and perhaps most valuably, members have access to one of the most astute Government Relations teams in the business. Each year, the Association monitors up to 300 bills per legislative season that have the potential to impact the industry and lobbies on its members’ behalf. Deploying a team of government affairs experts, the RI Hospitality Association is constantly on the pulse of impending bills and works to ensure the economic strength and future vitality of the industry.

The hospitality industry has been an engine of growth for the nation’s employment recovery for the last several years. Restaurants have been the third largest private-sector job creator since the employment recovery began in 2010. Employers operate under a business model that has encouraged growth and created jobs and has provided the state with a steady and growing revenue stream, and the RI

Hospitality Association is proud to be a part of that growth.

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Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.

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