Rhode Island Foundation Invests in Regional Economic DevelopmentNewport, Rhode Island: The Rhode Island Foundation awarded Connect Greater Newport $50,000 to support regional economic development in Newport and Bristol Counties. The Foundation is the most recent investor of the initiative, joining the City of Newport, Town of Middletown, Town of Jamestown, Town of Portsmouth, Town of Warren, van Beuren Charitable Foundation and BankNewport. This funding will play a crucial role in stabilizing the regional economy by supporting businesses to create high paying, year-round jobs for residents. Connect Greater Newport is the regional economic development division of the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce.
According to Fourth Economy Consulting’s analysis of federally supplied data, the Greater Newport region is suffering from a declining year-round population, aging workforce and missing middle housing, resulting in slow industry growth. In order to address and overcome these barriers and ensure the region is a place where families can live, work, and play, communities and local businesses must unite.
“If we continue to go down this path, our region and community will not be a place where our families can live and grow. Instead the culture will shift to be more like Cape Cod or the Outer Banks, where the population is seasonal, and the only job growth is centered around tourism. With the help and support of our investors we can work together to address barriers and create opportunities to keep our community thriving year-round,” said Ashley Medeiros, Director of Connect Greater Newport.
Connect Greater Newport’s vision aligns closely with the Rhode Island Foundation’s strategic priority of supporting economic security for all Rhode Islanders. The Foundation believes in the importance of investing in the creation of strong and supportive environments that help Rhode Islander’s start and grow businesses. By connecting business owners with resources to be successful and working together with community leaders to create business friendly supportive environments, Connect Greater Newport is developing an environment where businesses thrive, and residents have opportunities.
“This is a big undertaking and we cannot do it alone; we need the support of many to create a system of change and promote a Greater Newport as place to live, work, and play. We are grateful to the Rhode Island Foundation for their forward-thinking approach and dedication to our region,” said Erin Donovan-Boyle, Executive Director Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce.
Connect Greater Newport is Rhode Island’s only regional economic development public-private partnership bringing together municipalities and the business community. The Connect Greater Newport Steering Committee is asking for businesses to consider joining this partnership to help advance economic opportunities in the Greater Newport region. For more information on how you can invest in Connect Greater Newport go to www.connectgreaternewport.com.
About Connect Greater Newport: Connect Greater Newport is a regional economic development initiative launched by the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce to serve the region’s business community. Connect Greater Newport’s mission is to support the growth of the region’s existing businesses and serve as a resource to attract new companies to the region. For more information about Connect Greater Newport visit www.connectgreaternewport.com.
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 nearly 100 years, the Greater Newport Chamber is a vibrant collective body of the greater Newport business community with nearly 1,100 members representing over 50,000 employees. We work to create valuable strategic partnerships, promote strong economic growth, diversity and prosperity to serve its members and the Greater Newport region. For more information visit www.newportchamber.com.