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Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, RIEDC Team Up to Help Rhode Island Businesses Start, Grow and Expand

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) and Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis are joining together again to assist businesses in development, growth and expansion through the We Mean Business Expo on Wed., Sept. 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick.

"Government is opening its doors to you. In just one-day in one-place you can meet with the agencies that regulate your business, provide advice and offer financing," said Mollis.

Past expos have attracted hundreds of exhibitors, small business owners and start-ups. In just three years, the two organizations have already made it easier for businesses to obtain forms, make contacts and get quick answers from government at all levels.

"After years of collaboration these two agencies have made a difference," said Keith Stokes, RIEDC executive director. "The recent legislative season was a huge success and we've cut the red-tape. Now it's time for businesses to take advantage of the new statutes and programs including RIEDC's Every Company Counts. It's time for businesses to charge ahead."

Among the more than 150 organizations that have been invited to exhibit are the Providence Economic Development Partnership, the state Department of Taxation and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

"The expo gives government agencies a powerful tool for changing the perception that Rhode Island is not business friendly. People really value the opportunity to talk face-to-face with them," said Mollis.

In addition to the opportunity to meet with government officials about registering a business, financing, taxes, licensing and permitting, the expo will offer free workshops on social media, starting a business and marketing.

"Go to one of the free seminars. Get free business advice from a team of consultants put together especially with small businesses in mind," said Mollis.

This year's expo sponsors include 790AM, RIMES, RIPTAC, New York Life Insurance Company, The Washington Trust Company, Beacon Mutual Insurance Company, Coventry Credit Union, University of Rhode Island – Feinstein Campus, Text Ripple, JobsInRI.COM,, Lucier CPA, The Tech Collective, Storage America, Capability Accelerators, Focus Business Solutions, Xzito Creative Services, Rhode Island Blueprint.

This is the fourth-consecutive year that Mollis and RIEDC have collaborated on the event. Past expos have drawn hundreds of exhibitors and business people.

Mollis and RIEDC created We Mean Business to connect business owners with local, state and federal officials as well as to non-profit resources that impact business. The expo presents a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to discuss issues that impact their business and to acquire information that they will need to start, grow or improve their business.

We Mean Business is a joint venture between the Secretary of State's First Stop Business Information Center and Every Company Counts, an initiative of EDC. The mission of We Mean Business is to connect Rhode Island business owners with local, state and federal regulators as well as to non-profit resources that impact business.

The mission of Every Company Counts is to mobilize the economic development professionals in Rhode Island to promote small business success. Created in 2004, the ECC network has grown to over 170 partners and reaches out to approximately 1500 small business owners a year. Visit for information about the services that ECC provides.

The Secretary of State Mollis' office works with every company registered to do business in Rhode Island – more than 65,000 in all. The office oversees recording commercial liens, protecting corporate trademarks and providing advice to small and start-up businesses. For more information about the programs and services the Secretary of State offers Rhode Islanders, visit

For information about participating or attending the Expo, call (888) 384-9704 or visit


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  • Department or agency: Office of the Secretary of State
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  • Release date: 08-20-2011

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