Providence, RI - September 16, 2010
Lt. Governor Elizabeth H. Roberts and Kelly Ramirez, Executive Director of Social Venture Partners Rhode Island (SVPRI), today announced a new partnership between the Lieutenant Governor’s Buy Local RI initiative and SVPRI. Launched in 2009, Buy Local RI is a not-for-profit project of the Small Business Advocacy Council chaired by Lt. Governor Roberts. The project is dedicated to strengthening locally owned Rhode Island businesses by raising awareness that 50% more of every dollar spent in a locally owned business remains in the Rhode Island economy. SVPRI, which has developed a new model of non-profit “incubation,” will serve as the fiscal agent for Buy Local RI, enabling the organization to raise funds to support its efforts to promote local businesses and their goods and services to Rhode Islanders.
“SVPRI has a long tradition of supporting Rhode Island non-profits and social enterprises, and we are especially focused on enterprises that address critical problems by demonstrating innovative approaches to accomplishing change. The Buy Local RI campaign promotes an incremental shift in retail and wholesale purchasing behavior toward locally owned businesses that can transform our under-performing economy with increased local economic activity and new job creation," said Ramirez.
Social Venture Partners Rhode Island (www.socialenterpriseri.org) is a partnership of engaged philanthropists who are action-oriented. Its mission is to effectively connect, educate and deploy a network of professionals whose time, skills and financial resources help establish and scale social enterprises that create jobs and revenue. Working with other leading stakeholders in academia, business, government and philanthropy, SVPRI offers community-building and networking, start-up support, mentoring and financial support, growth capital and fiscal sponsorship to worthy ventures.
"This partnership with SVPRI will allow Buy Local RI to build on its ability to promote connections between Rhode Islanders and small businesses, and between businesses and local suppliers,” said Lt. Governor Roberts. “I’m confident and enthusiastic that SVPRI is the best partner to host this initiative as Buy Local RI builds a statewide network to support, promote and assist locally owned Rhode Island businesses to expand and grow jobs in our state," said Roberts.
As Chair of the Small Business Advocacy Council (SBAC), Lt. Governor Roberts has made dozens of Buy Local RI tours of the state in an effort to reach out to small businesses since she launched Buy Local RI in 2009. Roberts and members of SBAC joined with members of local Chambers of Commerce, business owners and state and local elected officials to help create a statewide network and website (www.buylocalri.org) dedicated to expanding the market for local businesses, their products and services by connecting them to consumers and other businesses.