Rhode Island Working to Aid Business Climate

Government Regulation
Government Regulation

Gov. Lincoln Chafee told small business owners Wednesday that he wants to help them foster a better economic climate in struggling Rhode Island.

Chafee, an independent, met with several dozen small business owners in Pawtucket in the first of three forums intended to show business owners that state government can be a resource and not an obstacle.

"We have all these programs. We need to use them," Chafee said. "We cannot have businesses unaware of the many programs out there."

The meeting featured speakers from government economic development agencies and programs to help businesses access financing and emergency efficiency incentives.

Chafee said he is looking to revise or eliminate onerous and unnecessary permit delays and regulations that increase the cost of doing business in Rhode Island.

Small businesses, he said, will play a critical role in invigorating a lackluster economy and reducing a state unemployment rate that now stands at 10.5 percent.

Similar forums are scheduled for Thursday in West Warwick and Friday in Cranston.