As governor, my mission is to create jobs and lead an economic comeback that gives everyone an opportunity to make it in Rhode Island. Every day we are working to improve our business climate to make Rhode Island an easier and less expensive place to do business. Now, thanks to the recent passage of our jobs plan, we are working to spread the news that Rhode Island, including Quonset Business Park, is open for business.
With more than 200 companies, 10,000 jobs, and intermodal port, railroad, highway, and air transportation, Quonset Business Park is a leading contributor to Rhode Island’s economic expansion and job growth. One way to jumpstart our economy is to build on the successes at Quonset for continued growth.
Given the creation of a statewide economic development toolkit, Quonset will be able to build up its existing incentives and provide even more help to companies looking to grow and expand. On the state level, 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.
The New Qualified Jobs Incentive Act makes it easier for large and small businesses to add jobs. Businesses can qualify for up to 10 years of redeemable, tradeable tax credits for creating new jobs in Rhode Island. Employers that create high-quality jobs in priority industries and areas – like manufacturing or marine-related industries ideally suited to Quonset – may be eligible for bonus considerations under the program.
The new Rebuild Rhode Island Tax Credit is 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.
Companies often tell us they need to be near a talented workforce to grow and expand. In addition to making our workforce training system more employer driven, we are also finding creative ways to keep our recent college graduates here.
The competitive Wavemaker Fellowship reimburses student loan payments for four year for graduates pursuing careers in technology, engineering, design and other key sectors. Seventy percent of the fund will be dedicated to students who are Rhode Island residents or who graduated from Rhode Island colleges or university.
And the Ocean State Grad Grant program is helping recent college graduates make Rhode Island their permanent home by offering a special first-time homebuying grant. The program is available to qualified borrowers who have graduated within the last 36 months from an accredited academic institution, giving them up to $7,000 in down payment assistance. These programs will help us retain new young talent in the state and make our workforce even stronger.
Quonset Development Corp. is also doing its part by providing Quonset-specific incentives to tenants, including a jobs incentive that gives new tenants a break based on the quality and quantity of their jobs.
To learn more about these programs, as well as other ways we can help you, please reach out to the Rhode Island Commerce Corp. and the Quonset Development Corp. It is my hope that by taking advantage of these programs, you will reinvest the savings to grow even more. And for my part, I will continue to work every day to make Rhode Island a place where businesses want to be and where everyone has a chance to make it.
Gina Raimondo is the governor of Rhode Island.