Video from the 2018 Rhode Island Small Business Economic Summit

The structure of the late morning/early afternoon portion of the 2018 Rhode Island Small Business Economic Summit consists of getting political luminaries such as Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, State Treasurer Seth Magaziner and Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor on stage to listen to ideas generated earlier in the day by business owners and supporters in “breakout sessions.” The breakout sessions are divided into seven categories: economic development, healthcare, taxes and budget, regulations, emerging markets, Main Street and workforce development.

Below is all the video from afternoon portion of the event:


See also:

The Small Business Economic Summit is the tail that wags the General Assembly

Small Business Economic Summit recycles long debunked minimum wage myths


Mark Hayward, District Director for the United States Small Business Administration, Rhode Island District Office

Mark Deion, chairperson – Economic development covers issues “including access to capital, small business assistance programs including counseling and training, developmental and business development issues facing small businesses.”

John Gregory and Mary Ann Shellcross Smith chairpersons, John Gregory speaking in video – Workforce Development “focuses on the skills gap needed to fulfill workplace requirements and the education and training needed to become gainfully employed. These necessary skills will eliminate significant barriers to employment.

Grafton H “Cap” WilleyTaxes & Budget covers “state tax issues with the goal of making the Rhode Island tax system more competitive regionally and nationally. [The working group] concentrate[s] on improving incentives that would contribute to a more vibrant Rhode Island Small Business economy. [The working group] also address issues that affect the annual state budget.”

Mark Hayward, District Director for the United States Small Business Administration- Rhode Island District Office, tells a story about the need for small business owners to get out to the State House to testify on legislation that is important to them.

Ralph CoppolaHealthcare focuses “on creating a cost effective, affordable healthcare system to small and medium size business. The committee works on issues to customize options including employee choice and defined contribution to help business owners stabilize their bottom line.”

Miriam RossMain Street “focuses on local initiatives to revitalize Rhode Island’s ‘main streets’ by leveraging local assets and making thoughtful redevelopment and economy boosting investments.”

Gary EzovskiRegulations identifies “regulatory changes which could make Rhode Island an easier place to do business while sustaining public safety. State rules impacting labor management, construction/real estate development, energy, education and general cost of doing business are frequent areas of concern.”

Oscar MejiasEmerging Markets 1 – “Minority businesses are starting up at unprecedented rates, and we can expect these businesses to play a key role in the health of our economy. Minority business start-ups and increased spending power within minority communities are creating new business opportunities for companies to grow their market. This committee will focus on understanding cultural issues, how to market correctly to this growing demographic and gaining access to capital.”

Sandra Cano – Emerging Markets 2

Rhode Island Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello

Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea

Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner

Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor


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About Steve Ahlquist 229 Articles
Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for half a decade. Uprise RI is his new project, and he's doing all he can to make it essential reading. atomicsteve@gmail.com

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