Building a Business Community
Recently, we’ve seen a report from RIPEC about the troubled EDC and how to improve it. Everyone wants to improve the business community, or at least they say they do, but as one of the points in the report, Rhode Island lacks a clear vision or path toward making any improvements. Reports like that can be a step in the right direction, if they’re carried out with the right recommendations.
Then you have others who are just choosing to bypass all that government gobbledygook and reports and meetings and hearings and testimony, and just try to carve out their own path. Next weekend, Johnson & Wales University in Providence is hosting Providence Startup Weekend, which is like a mini-camp for potential business entrepreneurs to get quickly immersed in the business of a startup company, what they need to think about and what needs to be done.
This kind of incubator and low-cost, non-governmental assistance is exactly what Rhode Island needs. We’ve had a company like Betaspring around for a while doing this sort of mentoring thing for companies as well, but that is more of a long-term relationship.
Of course, it doesn’t do a whole lot of good to teach someone to swim and then tell them to jump in the ocean and swim to England. Rhode Island isn’t exactly the most business-friendly (well, actually it’s the least friendly) and even some of the smartest or best funded businesses will struggle under the weight of the RI regulatory and taxation structure, until the General Assembly gets serious about taking steps forward.
This is probably the opposite end from a “start up”, and I hope I am not repeating myself.
About two weeks ago I attended a rather large industrial auction in Providence. What I noticed was that there were about 3 cops assigned as a “detail”. I have attended a number of industrial auctions outside Providence and have never seen a police detail before. I assume that this is some sort of Providence “regulation” that adds about $180.00 per hour to the cost of the auction.
More than that. These “details” are often overtime used to boost the retiree’s pension. So you’ll be paying for that detail for years to come….
Forget the EDC. Dump it altogether.
Rhode Island’s business climate and our prospects of boosting jobs is in the hands of the RI General Assembly, not a legislatively impotent, taxpayer funded quango.
The fact that the Rhode Island government believes it can solve the severe and chronic economic problems in the state through a public board or agency is indicative of the problem.