General Assembly OKs legislation to create Rhode Island Small Business Development Fund
STATE HOUSE — Included in the state budget passed by the General Assembly is legislation introduced by Sen. William J. Conley Jr. (D-Dist. 18, East Providence, Pawtucket) and Rep. Joseph J. Solomon Jr. (D-Dist. 22, Warwick) that would create the Rhode Island Small Business Development Fund.
“We’ve seen small businesses leave the state just when they’re on the verge of growth; not because they don’t want to stay, but because they simply cannot acquire the capital they need to stay here,” said Representative Solomon. “This is an effective way to provide these small businesses with capital that will continue to stimulate Rhode Island’s economy and keep our skilled workforce employed in well-paying jobs.”
The fund is designed to encourage the formation of private capital investment in small business by federally licensed investment companies.
“This gives smaller businesses the access to capital that they need to grow,” said Senator Conley, who serves as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. “It provides for the flow of capital investment into small businesses identified as critical to our state’s future and creates jobs. In fact, an impact assessment demonstrates that for every 100 jobs created in the targeted industries, another 113 indirect and individual jobs are created. Further, every 100 jobs created or retained in the targeted sectors will support nearly $21 million in Gross State Product (GSP).”
Investments would be designated for targeted growth industries for the state, including clean energy, biomedical innovations, life sciences, information technology, cyber security, defenses maritime, and others would be required to be diversified — no one small business would receive more than $4 million or 20 percent of a fund’s investment authority and the business must have a strategy for reaching out to and investing in minority business enterprises.
For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903