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Lt. Gov. Roberts Celebrates Buy Local RI Success Story in Warren

Lt. Gov. Roberts Helps Keep Doors Open at Jamiel’s Shoe World

Warren, RI—Lt. Gov. Elizabeth H. Roberts joined Francis Jamiel, owner of Jamiel’s Shoe World, Rhode Island’s Congressional Delegation, Rhode Island’s General Officers and the Small Business Administration (SBA) in announcing a new SBA-backed loan that will help keep Jamiel’s Shoe World in business.

In December 2008, Roberts visited Jamiel’s Shoe World during her Buy Local RI Main Street tour in Warren. The goal of the Main Street tour was to encourage shoppers to remember local stores during the holiday season, to listen to business owners concerns and challenges, and to make sure business owners were connected to the government services they needed to survive during challenging economic times. Lt. Governor Roberts stop in Jamiel’s Shoe World was memorable.

“In December I stood in Jamiel’s and listened to a nightmare story about reduced credit lines and the unwillingness of banks to extend credit to a viable business,” recounted Roberts. “I know how hard the SBA works for business owners like Francis. Putting Jamiel's in touch with the SBA was the best way to get them the credit they needed to keep their doors open. Throughout the winter and spring, my office worked continually with Jamiel’s to make that the State of Rhode Island was doing everything in its power to ensure that this anchor of Warren’s Main St. stayed in business,” Roberts stated.

Over the last year, Lt. Governor Roberts has consistently stated that access to credit is a major challenge facing Rhode Island’s small businesses. As a result, two of the last four meetings of the Small Business Advocacy Council, which Roberts chairs, have featured credit experts on the small business credit issue --including the SBA and Coastway Credit Union—the lending team that is backing the new loan to Jamiel’s Shoe World.

“Today’s announcement is an important victory, but I believe we need many more successes like this to turn our economy around,” Roberts said. “There are too many small businesses that are in the same position that Jamiel’s was back in December. If we want to help small businesses survive and thrive in this economic climate, Rhode Island needs a focused prosperity agenda that includes helping our current businesses as well as attracting new businesses to our state. Now is the time to restore small business tax credits, extend loan guarantees and continue programs like Buy Local RI that connect businesses with their customers. I pledge to continue doing everything within my power to be a leader for small businesses in Rhode Island, because they are truly the backbone of Rhode Island’s economy," Roberts concluded.

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