PROVIDENCE -- The two state agencies charged making it easier to do business in Rhode Island are teaming up to offer companies a unique opportunity to talk face-to-face with the government officials who regulate them, provide advice and offer financing.
Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis and Governor Lincoln D. Chafee with the R.I. Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) will bring Rhode Island's federal, state and local government agencies together at the free "We Mean Business Expo" Tues, Sept. 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick.
"Government is opening its doors to you for one day in one place," said Mollis. "It's like speed dating for small businesses. Instead of leaving the usual voice mail or email or visiting an agency's website, the Expo enables you to sit down with a real person and talk through the issues that are important to your business."
Among the state agencies that will participate are the state Dept. of Environmental Management, state Dept. of Health, state Division of Taxation, the state Dept. of Transportation and the state Dept. of Labor and Training.
"One of my key priorities is helping Rhode Island businesses cut through the red tape. The Expo is another example of how we are working to make state government a resource for businesses rather than a hindrance," said Chafee.
Municipalities that will be there include Burrillville, Cumberland, East Providence and Pawtucket.
In addition to the opportunity to meet with government officials about financing, licensing and permitting, there will be free workshops including "Energy Efficiency: Business Programs & Strategies" from Presenting Sponsor National Grid, "State Fire Code from A to z" and "From Employee to Entrepreneur" presented by Gil Lantini of the R.I. Small Business Journal.
The Expo will once again feature a "Smart Start" clinic, Businesses can get help with formation filings, patents, trademarks, tax documentation and Federal Identification Numbers from the Secretary of State's office, the state Division of Taxation, the Internal Revenue Service and volunteer attorneys and CPAs including Judith Hetherman of Judith Hetherman & Co., Everett Petronio, Jr. of Kalander & Shaw Ltd., Melanie J. Flamand of Flamand & Assoc. and Daniel J. Holmander of Barlow Josephs & Holmes.
Expo exhibitors also include nonprofit organizations that offer services to Rhode Island businesses including the Center for Women and Enterprise and the Cranston Chamber of Commerce.
This is the sixth-consecutive year that Mollis and RIEDC have collaborated on the event. This year's Expo is offered in association with the R.I. Small Business Development Center and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
This year's Expo sponsors include National Grid, Bank of America, AM790 Business Talk, PODER 1110, America News, Telemundo, Alex and Ani, Independence Bank, lia sophia (sic) the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce, People's Credit Union, RIPTA, The Business Development Company, The University of Rhode Island Feinstein Providence Campus, Verizon, ARC Rhode Island, Bella Consulting & Events, Organizing in RI and Xzito.
The Secretary of State's office works with every corporate entity that is registered to do business in Rhode Island - about 60,000 in all. The office oversees recording commercial liens, protecting corporate trademarks and providing advice to small and start-up businesses.
RIEDC is the full service, official economic development organization for the state of Rhode Island. A quasi-public agency, RIEDC serves as a government and community resource to help streamline the business expansion in, and relocation to, Rhode Island. The agency assists companies with commercial real estate, business financing, workforce training and other relevant issues.
For information about exhibiting or attending the Expo, call the Secretary of State's office at 222-2185 or visit WeMeanBusinessRI.com.
MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Barnett at 222-4293