Gov. Raimondo proposes package of small business reforms

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Gina Raimondo visited a Providence bookstore Thursday to announce a package of reforms to help small businesses in Rhode Island.

Speaking at Riffraff, a combination bookstore, coffee shop and bar on Valley Street, Raimondo said her plan is to eliminate a number of fees, licenses and requirements for small businesses, calling the proposal a “war on red tape.” She also aims to streamline the permit renewal process.

“This package of reforms and our goal to double the number of small business loans by the end of the year will strengthen our small business community and give local business owners the boost they need to hire more Rhode Islanders,” Raimondo said.

The proposal follows a pair of announcements this week regarding small business in the state.  On Tuesday, Raimondo said she would connect Rhode Island’s local suppliers with the state’s largest employers in her “Supply R.I.” initiative. On Wednesday, she announced a plan to make cities and towns friendlier to small businesses.

“The loan we received from commerce was instrumental to getting Riffraff up and running,” co-owner Emma Ramadan said. “We’re proud to be a part of Rhode Island’s vibrant small business community and thank Governor Raimondo for her commitment to small businesses.”