• Press Release: Greater Newport Annual Business Walk on October 24th Meeting Face-to-Face with Businesses to Take the Pulse of our Region’s Economy

    Press Release: Greater Newport Annual Business Walk on October 24th Meeting Face-to-Face with Businesses to Take the Pulse of our Region’s Economy

    Newport County, RI – Connect Greater Newport, the regional economic development division of the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce, will be hosting its fourth annual Business Walk on Tuesday, October 24th from 8:30am to 12pm to meet in person with business owners in Newport County and gather their input on the region’s business climate.
    Erin Donovan-Boyle, President and CEO of the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are excited to visit with business owners on location to hear directly from them about what is going well and what can be improved in our business environment. This is an excellent opportunity for business owners to share their feedback directly with government representatives, community leaders, and state officials about any obstacles they might be facing and to share suggestions about what kinds of business assistance would help them grow and become more profitable.”
    Small teams of interviewers will visit with businesses to conduct a brief interview between 8:30am to 12pm on Tuesday, October 24th. To participate in the Business Walk, a business must be actively operating in Newport County. Space is limited to the first 100 businesses who register at https://www.connectgreaternewport.com/businesswalk-business-sign-up
    While the main goal is to hear directly from businesses about how things are going, we want to actively work to improve the business climate in the region. Stakeholders from all levels of government are eager to hear directly from businesses and to exhibit how important the small business community is to the success of Rhode Island as a whole.
    The Greater Newport Business Walk has been taking place since 2019 with teams of approximately 80 volunteers and more than 50 businesses in Newport and Bristol counties annually. In 2022, 60 businesses participated in the interviews.
    According to Isabel Marsh, Business Outreach Specialist for The Chamber and Connect Greater Newport: “In 2022, of the businesses we visited, 60% reported the current state of their business as great or growing. We also heard that our local businesses were affected by challenges facing businesses nationally, such as the labor shortage. 65% of businesses stated that finding workers is a significant challenge, compounded by a lack of workforce housing. 51% stated that inflation in the cost of goods sold is a significant challenge.” For more information about our 2022 findings read the 2022 Business Pulse Report
    The Chamber is also collaborating with Salve Regina University to launch a Business Trends and Outlook Survey to assess business conditions in our region. The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete. Individual responses will be confidential. Businesses can take the survey at https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/7541078/2023-Newport-Business-Survey
    While all data collected from the survey will remain confidential, it will generally be analyzed by students in the Business Research Methods course and shared as a public report at the end of this year. Our goal is to conduct this survey annually to track and adapt to changes in the business environment.
    You can contact Isabel Marsh, the Chamber’s Business Outreach Specialist, at 401-847-1608 x105 or at isabel@newportchamber.com for more information.
    The Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce is one of the state’s largest business advocacy organizations, whose mission is to connect, innovate, enhance, and advocate for the businesses of Greater Newport. As a trusted and reliable institution for over 100 years, the Greater Newport Chamber is a vibrant collective body of the greater Newport business community with nearly 1000 members representing over 50,000 employees. The Chamber works to create valuable strategic partnerships, promote strong economic growth, diversity, and prosperity to serve its members and the Greater Newport region.
    Connect Greater Newport (CGN) is the economic development division of the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce. CGN launched in 2018 to lead a public private partnership with resources from Bristol and Newport County. The mission of CGN is to support the growth of existing businesses and to serve as a resource to attract new companies to the Greater Newport region. Through CGN, the Chamber has implemented a robust Business Retention and Expansion program and developed a 10-year regional economic strategy with recommendations to build a more competitive and resilient economy.

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