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Since January 2015, RICC staff have been in touch with or assisted over 5,000 small businesses throughout the state. Today, the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation along with the state's Department of Business Regulation announced a campaign to further educate Rhode Island's businesses about the services available to them through the State. The ads, which will appear in print, online, and on radio, highlight the Rhode Island Small Business Hotline (401-521-HELP), an easy to remember, one stop shop for businesses to call for assistance, questions about access to funding, or about navigating government bureaucracy. Businesses can also contact Commerce directly online at www.rismallbiz.com. "From creating the first state backed small business loan program in at least thirty years or tackling some of the most annoying and frustrating laws that the state had previously placed on businesses—Governor Raimondo has been laser focused on making it easier for our state's small businesses to grow and thrive," said Liz Tanner, Director of the Department of Business Regulation. "This hotline serves as one more resource that businesses can utilize when they have questions or suggestions for making it easier to do business in the state." "The Commerce Corporation is here to assist businesses of all sizes in Rhode Island and we're launching this advertising campaign to ensure businesses know what we have to offer," said Jesse Saglio, President of the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. "Whether it's navigating state and local government or learning about different program options that might be able to assist with growing your business, we wanted to make it easier for Rhode Island's businesses to get in touch with our team." The hotline is open during business hours and connects callers to the most appropriate Rhode Island Commerce Corporation employee. Callers can receive help in areas including business assistance, access to funding, and permitting and licensing inquiries. Messages left outside of business hours will be returned by Commerce business advisors the next business day. The advertising buy will consist of print advertising in local newspapers, on local radio, and through digital ads. The ads will run through June. ###
The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation announced that applications are now open for an expanded version of the Innovation Voucher program. The program is intended to stimulate innovation, facilitate in-state partnerships, and give Rhode Island a competitive edge that will help the state grow and attract business. To date, 44 projects have been supported through this program. "Governor Raimondo aims to provide more support for smaller manufacturers in our state – support for activities such as R&D that will lead to new products and new jobs for Rhode Islanders," said Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor. "This expansion of the Innovation Voucher program is another important step toward the fulfillment of the Governor's goal. We thank the Rhode Island Manufacturing Association for advocating this revision and for their partnership in promoting manufacturing in our state. We also thank the General Assembly for enacting this key change." "Today's advanced manufacturers utilize all kinds of innovative technology and research, and the Innovation Voucher program could create new avenues of invention and business growth," said Dave Chenevert, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Manufacturing Association. "We thank the Governor, the General Assembly, and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation for expanding this program to include our industry." Innovation Vouchers allow eligible Rhode Island enterprises with fewer than 500 employees to fund R&D assistance from a Rhode Island university, research center or medical center on a specific project up to $50,000. Funded projects must be conducted in Rhode Island in partnership with a Rhode Island knowledge provider or at the recipient's manufacturing facility. The projects approved to date represent a variety of industry sectors important to the state, including medical devices, life sciences, pharmaceutical manufacturing, data analytics, defense, engineering and shipbuilding. Innovation Vouchers can be used for support toward commercializing a new product, process or service; access to scientific, engineering and design expertise that fits an innovation need; technological development and exploration to make an innovation come to life; and/or scale-to-market development of an innovative idea. For more information about Innovation Vouchers, or to apply, visit http://commerceri.com/finance-business/taxes-incentives/innovation-vouchers. Past Innovation Voucher examples are: · Matunuck Oyster Farm, LLC of South Kingston received funding to partner with the University of Rhode Island. The goal of this project is to transfer state-of-the-art knowledge in shellfish aquaculture from the University of Rhode Island to Matunuck Oyster Farm, leading to the development of a hatchery able to produce a diversity of species, including oysters, bay scallops, and seaweeds. This will fill a gap in the local production of seafood by providing a new, reliable source for other RI farms through aquaculture and will diversify the line of seafood products served at Matunuck Oyster Bar that are locally produced. · Vitae Industries, Inc. of Providence is partnering with the Rhode Island Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine. Clinical expertise from Rhode Island Hospital will further work to deploy and commercialize an innovative robotic hardware platform that quickly and cost effectively produces individually tailored doses of pharmaceutical tablets. Ambien, a popular sleep drug, can cause serious side-effects in women whose options are limited to the commercially available 5 and 10 mg doses. This clinical study will demonstrate the patient medical benefits of taking individually tailored doses of zolpidem tartrate (brand name Ambien) produced using the company's robotic platform. ###
Three Additional R.I. Businesses Receive Innovation Vouchers to Support R&D Work PROVIDENCE (Oct. 30, 2017)—Gov. Gina Raimondo and the Board of Directors for the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation tonight approved economic incentives to lure two companies from Massachusetts to Rhode Island. The board also voted to issue Innovation Vouchers to support the R&D work of three Rhode Island small businesses. "Today's news offers more proof that Rhode Island's economy is on the move," Raimondo said. "Every business that brings jobs here because of our Commerce programs creates an opportunity for Rhode Islanders. Businesses already creating jobs here need support through targeted programs like our Innovation Vouchers. These are strategies with successful track records in other states. We cannot stop working to strengthen our economy until every middle-class family has the security and stability they deserve." "The Qualified Jobs tax credit has now helped 20 companies land and expand in Rhode Island," said Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor. "We have granted more than double this number in Innovation Vouchers – often to smaller companies that are aiming to grow. Rhode Island is on a roll – with both smaller and larger businesses contributing to the momentum and creating opportunities for Rhode Islanders." Xeros Inc. is the cleaning technology division of Xeros Technology Group, based in Sheffield, England. The company, which is moving to Rhode Island from Seekonk, Massachusetts, uses a patented technology to reduce consumption in water-intensive operations such as commercial laundries. The company is approved for incentives under the Qualified Jobs Incentive Act for an estimated $785,000 to create 25 jobs and has the potential to receive additional credits for creating up to 40 jobs. The business plans to move to an engineering facility at a location still to be determined. "The tools put in place by Governor Raimondo made our decision to relocate our Engineering facility to Rhode Island economically feasible for Xeros," said George Silvia, Vice President of Engineering. "We thank the team at the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and are excited about our growth and success in the Ocean State." Alliance Paper was approved for Qualified Job Tax Credits of an estimated $297,000 for moving its operation and 20 jobs from Fall River, Massachusetts, to Pawtucket. Alliance is a paper products manufacturer and could receive additional credits for creating up to 30 jobs. "Alliance Paper is very excited to relocate and join the Pawtucket community, and its great heritage in the American Industrial Revolution," said Jeff Jones, President of Alliance Paper Company. "This opportunity offers great growth potential, and without the financial incentives from the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, this move would not have been possible. I'd personally like to thank the Governor and the dedicated staff of the Commerce Corporation for bringing this to fruition." The Board also approved three Innovation Vouchers. The Innovation Voucher program is designed to help spur innovation in the local economy by funding up to $50,000 for research and development between small Rhode Island businesses and local knowledge partners—namely colleges, universities and hospitals. With these awards, there have now been 43 Innovation Voucher recipients. Modus Tech-Wear of Providence will receive $50,000 to partner with the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Rhode Island to develop a lightweight, rechargeable battery with improved longevity for use in smart wearable products. CBC will receive $48,106 to partner with the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Rhode Island to continue an existing project on wind energy. The project will expand on a previous project that enabled the company to scale up its model unit of a power-generating wind turbine to a larger preproduction unit. Alcinous Pharmaceuticals will receive $50,000 to amass a large library of promising drug molecules that can be used in developing cancer therapies with superior efficacy and tolerability. They will be partnering with the University of Rhode Island's Department of Chemistry. ###

Press Releases

Governor Gina M. Raimondo and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation today announced the re-opening of Wavemaker Fellowship Applications, a competitive student loan reimbursement program for recent graduates working in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and certain design...
Governor Gina M. Raimondo today announced that Amgen, a world-leading biotechnology company, will expand in Rhode Island, with a new $160-million next-generation biomanufacturing plant that will be the first of its kind in the United States. The facility, which will produce approximately 150 new...
Rhode Island Economic Development Toolkit Adds Another Company Board Also Grants Three R.I. Businesses Innovation Vouchers for R&D Work Gov. Gina Raimondo and the Board of Directors for the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation tonight approved economic incentives to attract the technology...

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