Commerce RI has handed out $50M under Raimondo – here’s a list of all 92 awards

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Nothing has been a bigger priority for Gov. Gina Raimondo during her first 18 months in office than securing authority from the General Assembly to award millions of dollars that she hopes will spur economic development in Rhode Island.

With the 2015-16 fiscal year coming to an end later this week, requested a list of all awards handed out by Commerce RI under the various programs created by lawmakers at Raimondo’s urging a year ago.

The list provided by Commerce RI totals 92 awards and about $50 million. (It’s likely to grow later Monday when the agency’s board meets to consider tax credits to subsidize Ocean State Job Lot’s expansion at Quonset, among other requests. And it will grow further if GE eventually applies for up to $5.6 million as expected.)

Here’s the full list, as of earlier this month.

Qualified Jobs Incentive Tax Credit

A program, championed by Warwick Rep. Joe Shekarchi, to provide a tax credit of $2,500 to $7,500 per high-paying new job that a company creates. The size of the tax credit is capped at the amount of income tax revenue generated by the job.

  • A.T. Cross: $1,230,000
  • Trade Area Systems: $520,000
  • Greystone: $460,000
  • Ivory Ella: $362,000

Rebuild Rhode Island Tax Credit

A tax credit for real-estate development. Developers undertaking projects costing at least $5 million (or less in a lower-income “hope community”) can get a credit worth up to 30% of the project’s total cost. The credit is supposed to be “last-dollar” financing, to cover only the gap left after the private sector maxes out.

  • Fountain Street: $6,100,000
  • Providence Commons: $5,800,000
  • 93 Cranston St.: $2,700,000
  • Prospect Heights: $3,700,000
  • Pontiac Mills: $3,600,000
  • Union Trust: $3,000,000
  • Dorrance Street: $2,200,000
  • Chestnut Street: $1,300,000
  • A.T. Cross: $400,000

Tax Increment Financing

Tax increment financing (TIF) is when a jurisdiction tracks how much additional revenue is generated in a given place after some sort of new project is completed, and then makes a special use of the additional (“incremental”) revenue. This program lets developers keep up to 75% of the incremental state tax revenue generated by or around their projects.

  • Homewood Suites Hotel: $3,000,000

Tax Stabilization Incentives

Tax stabilization agreements (TSAs) are deals made between cities and developers that allow the developer to pay a lower-than-normal tax rate on a project for a set number of years. This program reimburses a city or town for up to 10% of the tax revenue it forgoes by putting a TSA in place. To qualify, a development has to create at least 25 new full-time jobs and cost at least $5 million (or more in some places).

  • 111 Fountain St.: $246,597

Innovation Vouchers

A program aimed at research and development that provides $5,000 to $50,000 vouchers to offset the cost of R&D support and other technical assistance for small businesses.

  • Agcore: $50,000
  • CBC LLC: $50,000
  • EpiVax: $50,000
  • Materials Science Association: $50,000
  • Pilgrim Screw: $49,921
  • Full Measure: $48,814
  • Yushin America: $45,459
  • Vitae Industries: $40,000
  • S2S Surgical: $37,613
  • HMSolution: $20,000
  • Applied Radar: $10,000

Industry Cluster Grants

A program to provide competitive grants to help “geographic concentrations of interconnected firms and related institutions in a field,” also known as industry clusters.

  • Highlander Institute: $150,000
  • Partnership for a Greater Future Providence: $115,000
  • SENEDIA: $109,000
  • DesignXRI: $100,000
  • Polaris MEP and RI Composite Alliance: $100,000
  • RIMA: $100,000
  • International Yacht Restoration: $75,000

Main Street RI Streetscape Improvement Fund

A program to provide grants and loans to cities and towns that they can use to build things like enhanced sidewalks, better signs, upgraded building facilities and improved street lighting.

  • Bristol: $800,000
  • Central Falls: $300,000
  • Providence: $272,000
  • Pawtucket: $245,000
  • Woonsocket: $70,000
  • East Greenwich: $32,400


A program, short for “Pathways in Technology Early College High School,” to create “partnerships among high schools, colleges, and employers, enabling students to earn associate’s degrees and obtain first-in-line opportunities for jobs in Rhode Island.”

  • Providence P-TECH: $200,000
  • Westerly P-TECH: $200,000
  • Newport P-TECH: $200,000

Innovation Network Matching Grants

A program to provide grants to nonprofits, for-profits, colleges, and “co-working space operators” that match private or nonprofit money.

  • Social Enterprise Greenhouse: $115,000
  • Hope & Main: $107,998
  • MassChallenge: $100,000
  • Practico Innovation: $50,000

Small Business Loan Fund

A program to provide loans to small businesses (defined as enterprises with 200 or fewer employees) of up to $750,000. In addition, 10% of the money has to go to “micro-loans” of $2,000 to $25,000.

  • Aidance Skin Care: $500,000
  • Quick Fitting Inc. $500,000
  • Precision Design Studios: $500,000
  • Site Specific: $500,000
  • Doherty’s Lakeside Ale House: $300,000
  • Eagle Cornice: $300,000
  • Arctic Tool Inc.: $250,000
  • eNow: $250,000
  • Atlantic Produce: $200,000
  • S2S Inc.: $150,000
  • Greenwich Safety Inc.: $103,000
  • Ninigret Pond: $100,000
  • Parson Kellogg: $100,000
  • Chronomatic Inc.: $25,000
  • West Greenwich Animal Hospital: $25,000

First Wave Closing Fund

A somewhat vaguely defined program to provide “lynchpin financing unavailable from other sources, bringing to closure transactions that are of a critical or catalytic nature for Rhode Island’s economy and communities.”

  • AT Cross: $200,000

Real Jobs RI

A program to provide funding for job training developed by employers, unions and other groups. It’s technically run out of the R.I. Department of Labor and Training, not Commerce RI.

  • Pipeline to Shipbuilding Manufacturing Careers: $394,500
  • LaunchCode: $350,000
  • Information Technology Partnership: $285,000
  • RI Residential Construction Workforce Partnership: $250,000
  • Cyber Security Partnership: $226,650
  • Biomedical Equipment and IT Technician Project: $213,000
  • Real Jobs Partnership of Northern RI: $207,827
  • Med-Tech Job Creation Engine: $200,000
  • Healthcare Training Collaborative: $180,035
  • PHOENIX: $175,243
  • OIC-Works: $174,914
  • Rhode Island Food Management Partnership: $174,796
  • Health Jobs for Rhode Island: $174,721
  • Marine and Composites Partnership: $174,801
  • RI Manufacturing Boot Camp: $174,000
  • Manufacturing Leadership Development Partnership: $173,518
  • Design Sector Planning Partnership: $172,638
  • Construction Trades Skill Up: $168,720
  • Aquaculture Training Partnership: $159,987
  • Rhode Island Financial Skills Initiative: $158,105
  • Man Up Inc.: $150,000
  • Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce: $150,000
  • CNA Apprenticeship Program: $131,955
  • United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters: $131,400
  • The Providence Plan (Building Futures): $123,348
  • Independent Insurance Agents of RI: $29,780
  • Westerly Regional Real Jobs Partnership: $16,355

Housing Preservation and Production Program

A program to provide funding to preserve existing affordable housing. It’s technically run out of Rhode Island Housing, not Commerce RI, which provided the updated figures below.

  • Park Holm III Development: $1,000,000
  • Oxford Gardens Development: $1,000,000
  • Cherry Briggs Development: $500,000
  • 60 King St.: $500,000

Ted Nesi ( covers politics and the economy for He writes The Saturday Morning Post and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

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