It has been a few weeks since we talked about Governor Raimondo’s Ocean State WAVE agenda to spur economic growth in Rhode Island. A lot has happened in those few weeks, including launching more programs outlined within the WAVE.
Here’s a quick recap of where we are with phase one — workforce development:
- The P-Tech and Prepare RI programs launched to prepare high school students for the workforce.
- Real Jobs Rhode Island grant recipients were announced.
- The Ocean State Grad Grant helps recent college graduates with a down payment on a Rhode Island home.
- The Wavemaker Fellowship — a program to help young Rhode Island workers pay off their student loans — will be launched within the next several weeks.
Now, let’s dig into the next phase of the WAVE, which aims to create a place where greatness can thrive, to attract new business and support existing business. We are building programs to make it easier and less expensive to do business in Rhode Island, encourage research and innovation, increase investment, nurture business networks in our budding industries, and incentives our largest employers to keep growing in Rhode Island.
We are helping small business thrive here with a Small Business Assistance Program to expand access to capital. We are reducing energy costs, which companies across the state complain are too high; the governor recently phased out the sales tax on commercial energy. And, we need to overhaul our regulatory system. The Governor’s LEAN initiative and regulatory reform efforts are all focused on making it easier to do business in Rhode Island. And, to feed all of the above, we are getting shovels into the ground and cranes into the sky.
Sounds great, right? So, where are these great programs?
The starting point to accessing all of Rhode Island’s business resources is the newly launched Business Navigation Center. Our knowledgeable staff will walk any business — large or small — through the solutions to whatever challenges they are facing.
On Monday, Governor Raimondo, with Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, and Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor, officially announced the remaining programs to complete her WAVE initiative — less than 10 months into her time as governor.
The Qualified Jobs Incentive Tax Credit and Rebuild Rhode Island Tax Credit are fully launched and applications are being accepted now. The applications for the following programs will be rolled out over the coming weeks, but check them out now as regulations are outlined:
- Main Street Rhode Island Streetscape Improvement Fund
- I-195 Redevelopment Fund
- Small Business Assistance Program
- Innovation Network Matching Grants
- Innovation Vouchers
- Industry Cluster Grants
- Anchor Institution Tax Credit
That is a lot of checkmarks and jobs well done, but the job is not over. It is just beginning. Now that we have all these great tools that we can use to market Rhode Island as a great place to visit, live, and work, we need to use them. And that is where the last phase of the WAVE comes into play.
Stay tuned!Categories: News, Projects, Resources, WAVE