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A Message From Gina M. Raimondo Investing in Small Business

Raimondo HeaderGovernor Gina M. Raimondo

Local businesses are the backbone of Rhode Island’s economy.According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Rhode Island is home to over 22,000 small businesses, which represent over 80 percent of Rhode Island’s employers.

I often say that everyone has a part to play in Rhode Island’s comeback- and for no one is that more true than for small business owners and employees. Our state can’t succeed unless we’re supporting our local businesses and enabling them to thrive.

That’s why I was so excited last month to announce our new partnership with the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. Goldman Sachs and the Goldman Sachs Foundation are committing $10 million in capital and philanthropic support to help create jobs and generate economic growth in local small businesses. This marks the first statewide launch for the program.

“I often say that everyone has a part to play in Rhode Island’s comeback- and for no one is that more true than for small business owners and employees.”

Businesses participating in this initiative will have access to a free practical business education through which they will develop a business growth plan to help them increase revenues and hire new employees. Business advising and networking will be offered to participating small business owners through partnerships with community-based and national business organizations, as well as the people of Goldman Sachs. And, Goldman Sachs is committing lending capital to support the small businesses community in Rhode Island.

Program partners will work with local organizations to encourage small businesses to apply for the education and/or capital programs and to provide business advising and design expertise to participants. Eligible small businesses should have annual revenues above $100,000, been in operation for at least two years, employ at least two full-time workers and have a desire to grow and create jobs.

This is a proven model for unlocking the growth and job-creation potential of small businesses. To date, 10,000 Small Businesses has reached over 6,000 small businesses across the U.S. and U.K. In the first 6 months after graduating, 67 percent of participants report increased revenues and 46 percent report creating net new jobs.

Applications for the education component of the program are now being accepted and can be downloaded at Classes are free to business owners accepted through a competitive application process. For information about the loan application process, please contact BDC Capital directly. Application for loans is independent and separate from application and acceptance into the education program.

I hope you’ll take advantage of this valuable opportunity.

Growth And Success In The Ocean State

SOS headshot NellieSecretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea

Spring is often associated with a period of growth. Seeds are planted early in the season in anticipation of a bountiful harvest. For entrepreneurs, the beginning stages of creating a business are crucial and can determine their growth and success.

The Rhode Island Department of State is working to help Rhode Island businesses start and thrive by providing information that is relevant to their needs. More than 70,000 limited liability companies and for-profit and non-profit corporations are currently registered with the Department of State.

From January 1, 2016, to March 31, 2016, 2,204 new business entities registered with the Department of State. This is an increase of 27.7 percent over the fourth quarter of 2015, when 1,725 registered; and a 6.1 percent increase from Q1 2015 when 2,077 new businesses registered.

As we continue along this path of growth and opportunity, it is important for all Rhode Islanders, including our business community, to feel confident about investing in our state.

I often see and hear firsthand the concerns of business leaders as they consider growth opportunities in our state. One issue that is often raised is the operations of government and the ability to work with public officials in an open manner.

“Confidence in our government comes from the knowledge that our state is run efficiently and ethically”

Confidence in our government comes from the knowledge that our state is run efficiently and ethically, and that the rules of engagement are clear. That is why I have introduced legislation that will clarify, streamline and strengthen our state’s lobbying statutes.

Currently, there are separate statutes that address lobbying in the executive branch and the legislative branch. From competing definitions of what constitutes the act of lobbying to convoluted reporting requirements, the existing statutes are cumbersome and confusing. When I first took office, I heard repeatedly from constituents, lawmakers and lobbyists that our existing lobbying statutes are difficult to interpret and to comply with.

My Lobby Reform legislation provides much clearer definitions and bright line distinctions, so those involved can more easily determine who does and does not have to register. It also provides for a clear process to investigate possible violations of the lobbying law, including referral to Superior Court in certain instances.

In sum, the bill that I’m proposing does not attempt to over-regulate lobbyist engagement with executive and legislative branch officials. The new statute offers a pragmatic approach that builds off of the spirit and intent of the original statutes, but with needed new checks and balances. By improving these laws, we are not only taking an important step forward in terms of transparency and governance, we are sending a clear message to Rhode Island’s citizens and business community that government can operate in a clear and accountable way.

Whether you are a new entrepreneur or an established small business, the Department of State’s Business Services Division is here to help. You can reach us by calling (401) 222-3040, emailing us at or visiting our office at 148 West River Street. Please feel free to contact me directly with any thoughts or suggestions at or visit our newly redesigned website We look forward to working with you to grow your business in Rhode Island.

Providence is Open for Business

Capital City Logo

by Mayor Jorge Elorza

Access to capital is essential to business success, which is why the Providence Business Loan Fund (PBLF) is a critical tool that needs to be utilized by new businesses. Creating jobs and growing our local economy are among the highest priorities of my administration.

The PBLF was established more than 25 years ago and was designed to assist businesses of all sized by providing access to financing that can help businesses grow and increase employment within the city. We know that the availability of capital can be critical to businesses success and it has become more difficult to get a small loan from the big banks.

The PBLF is comprised of qualified financial advisors who are well versed in what individual businesses need to succeed. There are a variety of tools that can be used in the process of starting or growing a business. The PBLF offers Revolving Loans and Storefront improvement grants that allow for access to capital. There is also a special program that will target specific neighborhoods.

The PBLF adds another resource that start-ups and growing businesses can use. We already have some of the best schools in the country, highly skilled labor pool, an extraordinary quality of life, and close access to international marketplaces of millions.

We are excited to meet the needs of an expanding market. The PBLF will allow investments to be made to businesses of all sizes. With the PBLF, we are more convinced than ever that Providence is a place for business to grow and expand.

John Dorsey Named Partner at the Law Firm of Ferrucci Russo

John Dorsey

PROVIDENCE, RI– Firm co-founder and managing partner, W. Mark Russo announces that John Dorsey has been named a partner in the law firm of Ferrucci Russo, effective January 1, 2016. Dorsey joined the firm in 2010.

Dorsey serves as counsel to court-appointed receivers in the Rhode Island Superior Court and was named in 2015 to the Superior Court panel of receivers based on his experience in matters involving insolvency, turn-around and repositioning of distressed business operations, as well as resurrecting distressed real estate projects. He has successfully managed properties and businesses during the receivership process as well as marketed and negotiated sales of real estate and assets for insolvent businesses. He was part of the Ferrucci Russo team that restructured and operated The Westerly Hospital, which was recognized as the Turnaround Deal-of-the-Year by the Merger & Acquisition Advisor.

Dorsey has been instrumental in the firm’s project development efforts that span public and private undertakings and impact economic development in our region. He has been part of the team working with cities, towns and land owners to utilize specialized Court-supervised proceedings focused on collaboratively resurrecting distressed real estate development projects. Dorsey designed an abandoned properties receivership program to address abandoned and public nuisance residential properties in municipal housing courts.

In the area of real estate, he has also successfully worked through environmental issues for redevelopment projects in the area, assisted project owners/developers in seeking grants and other incentives to address environmental remediation in real estate project development.  His most recent success includes $280,000 in grants for distressed real estate projects in East Providence and West Warwick.

Admitted to practice in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, Dorsey is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (B.S. Management, 2007) and Roger Williams School of Law (J.D., 2010). Dorsey was named a “Rising Star” in the area of real estate law in 2015 by Super Lawyers. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Quonset Development Corporation, and a member of both the RI Black Business Association and the Thurgood Marshall Law Society. He is a resident of Exeter.

Founded in 2001, the Providence-based law firm of Ferrucci Russo represents clients on matters of commercial litigation, receivership/insolvency and project development for prominent real estate projects that have shaped the local landscape from waterfront development to infrastructure modernization to historic renovation.

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