Media release – helping businesses start and grow

Local businesses are the backbone of our economy and our communities.

They shape the character of the places we live, employ our friends and family, and support our local nonprofit organizations. That’s why helping businesses start and grow is one of our economic security strategies.

Starting and running a business is no easy task. Small business owners are among the most resilient, hard-working, determined, and creative people I know. But even they can’t do it alone all the time. And finding time to find the assistance and information that can help – about capital, marketing, regulations, talent, and more – has not been as easy as it should be.

"Small business owners are among the most resilient, hard-working, determined, and creative people I know."

- Jessica David, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Community Investment, Rhode Island Foundation is intended to change that. The site contains over 100 listings of resources and services that are available for startups and small businesses in Rhode Island. It’s easy to use: just answer four questions about the stage of your business, the type of assistance you’re looking for, and your industry. That’ll help provide the most relevant information for you. You choose who you want to connect with, and RI BizBuilder will contact the provider on your behalf.

So…are you a graphic design startup looking for coworking space and help with a business plan? RI BizBuilder can connect you with Sprout, the Center for Women and Enterprise, and DESIGNxRI. You’re a manufacturing company looking for assistance with certifications? Let us introduce you to Polaris. You’re a veteran with a cleaning company that could handle government contracts? Meet the Veterans Business Outreach Center and Supply RI. You need a loan? Check in with the Community Investment Corporation. Perhaps you make killer banana bread and people have been telling you for years you should go pro? Let’s connect you to Hope & Main.

Whether you are an established business, or a startup, or if you just have an idea, the point of RI BizBuilder is to quickly connect you with the people and entities that can help you with whatever you need, so you can move on, quickly.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be launching a series of strolls and information sessions around Rhode Island to introduce business owners and entrepreneurs to in person. Please check out the schedule, spread the word, and join us.

Entrepreneurs and business owners, I hope you’ll check out the site and, most importantly, provide feedback. Tell us what you think about the services you receive and the gaps you see. This is how we will get better together and strengthen the support system for local businesses, so you can prosper – which is the goal we all share.