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McKee Supports Continued Funding of RI Small Business Development Center

Yesterday, Lt. Governor McKee sent the following letter to the House Committee on Small Business in support of continued funding for the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center:

April 25, 2017

The Honorable Deborah Ruggiero Chairwoman, House Committee on Small Business Rhode Island State House Room 101

Dear Chairwoman Ruggiero and Honorable Members of the House Committee on Small Business:

I write to you today in support of continued and increased funding for the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center (RISBDC).

With 22 training programs held, 86 jobs created, and 403 small business clients assisted in 2016 alone, RISBDC's numbers paint a powerful picture of this organization's impact on our small business community and on Rhode Island's economy.

Beyond the numbers, the individual success stories of small business owners who have worked with RISBDC illustrate this organization's true value to our state. As Lt. Governor and Chair of the Rhode Island Small Business Advocacy Council, I've had the opportunity to work with three of the many small businesses that RISBDC supports:

Sophia Gartland, Owner of Essentially Coconut in Middletown who secured a loan through RISBDC counseling. This loan allowed Ms. Gartland to purchase a piece of equipment that increased her production and took her small business to the next level.

Sennen Conte, Owner of Gerbs Allergen Friendly Foods in Johnston who worked with RISBDC when he was in the process of changing his business model and expanding. RISBDC also connected Mr. Conte with other Rhode Island manufacturers to discuss his manufacturing process and identify opportunities for increased efficiency.

Tuni Schartner, President and COO of Hub Digital Marketing who worked with RISBDC on a growth and financial plan to help Hub Digital launch a series of online classes. Ms. Schartner was also able to secure a loan with RISBDC's guidance.

Too often, the majority of available dollars flow to big businesses. And while Rhode Island's economy depends on the success of large, blue chip companies, we must also take every opportunity to allocate a portion of available dollars to small businesses and the organizations that support them. This is how we will improve small business friendliness in our state.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely, Lt. Governor Dan McKee

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