10,000 Small Businesses initiative creates opportunities for Quonset tenants - by Steven King

April 08, 2016 - Rhode Island
Steven King, Quonset Development Corp. Steven King, Quonset Development Corp.

As a leading engine of economic growth for Rhode Island, we are constantly looking for new ways to help our tenants grow their business and create more jobs.  Thanks to the recent launch of the “10,000 Small Businesses” program in the state by governor Gina Raimondo and Goldman Sachs there will likely be even more opportunities for small businesses within the park to achieve more growth.

The program is the first of its kind to be launched on a statewide model, and provides more than $10 million in capital and philanthropic support from Goldman Sachs and the Goldman Sachs Foundation.  Its goal is to help create jobs and generate economic growth in local small businesses.  The initiative will offer: business and management education; access to capital, and; business support services to small businesses throughout Rhode Island.

“10,000 Small Businesses is a proven model for unlocking the growth and job-creation potential of small businesses,” said governor Raimondo at the launch of the program. “We are thrilled Goldman Sachs is bringing this program to Rhode Island, providing a unique opportunity to help us move our state forward by strengthening our local businesses – the backbone of our economy.”

“10,000 Small Businesses will build on the comprehensive package of tools we have launched to support entrepreneurs, create jobs, and ensure everyone can make it in Rhode Island,” she added.

Of the more than 6,000 small businesses that have participated in the “10,000 Small Businesses” program, 67% of participants reported having an increase in their revenue, and 46% reported creating net new jobs within six months. With more than 200 companies and nearly 11,000 jobs at the Business Park, it’s likely that Quonset tenants could achieve similar growth. 

The “10,000” program builds on governor Raimondo’s and Commerce RI’s statewide economic development toolkit that was unveiled last year.  These new tools include a jobs tax credit, a real estate tax credit for new and expanded development, and competitive programs designed to keep recent college graduates here.

Included in the toolkit is the New Qualified Jobs Incentive Act.  This incentive helps both large and small businesses create more jobs. Companies can qualify for 10 years of redeemable, tradeable tax credits by bringing more jobs to Rhode Island.  And businesses – like manufacturing or marine-related industries which are a major part of the Quonset tenant base – may be eligible for additional benefits under the program. 

The Rebuild Rhode Island Tax Credit is another tool designed to help put shovels in the ground more quickly.  If a real estate project cannot secure adequate financing, it can receive redeemable, tradeable tax credits of up to 20%, and sometimes even more, of the project’s cost. The project may also get a sales tax exemption on construction materials and building furnishings.

The Quonset Development Corporation (QDC) reflects these same priorities when it comes to the management and development of the Business Park.   The QDC’s Site Readiness program, which includes coordination between the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC), secures all the baseline permits that a new business would need to develop on a parcel at the park. As a result, companies can expect to get shovels in the ground within 90 days of signing their approved lease. 

Quonset also provides jobs and lease incentives to spur our tenants growth.  The QDC offers a jobs incentive that gives new tenants a break based on the quality and quantity of their jobs.  The lease incentive rewards companies based upon the length of the lease they sign – the longer the better.  Both incentives are made available to the largest and smallest companies within the park on an equal playing field. 

We are committed to helping create more jobs and economic growth for Rhode Island.  Governor Raimondo’s new “10,000 Small Businesses” program and those tools we already have in place can help us accomplish that goal.

Steven King, PE, is the managing director of the Quonset Development Corp., North Kingstown.

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