The Rhode Island Business Coalition

Rhode Island Public Expenditures Council


The Rhode Island Business Coalition

Rhode Island’s lagging economy demands focused attention.  Recent Department of Labor and Training labor force reports suggest that while the number of employed Rhode Islanders is recovering, the size of the state’s labor force continues to decline by relatively large margins, and its unemployment rate is still one of the highest in the nation. Furthermore, the state’s economic growth rate continues below levels necessary to deem a recovery from the Great Recession.  Most worrisome are the unknown fiscal impacts of short– and long-term policy decisions relating to  implementation of the Affordable Care Act, state revenue losses from table gaming in Massachusetts, and federal spending reductions.

To address these challenging economic headwinds, a diverse coalition of business trade associations, including several of the state’s Chambers of Commerce, has set out to  study Rhode Island’s economic challenges and provide suggestions for making the business climate more competitive. Members of this coalition include:

  • Associated Builders and Contractors of Rhode Island
  • Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce
  • Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce
  • Greater Westerly/Pawcatuck Area
  • East Bay Chamber of Commerce
  • East Greenwich Chamber of Commerce
  • East Providence Area Chamber of Commerce
  • National Federation of Independent Businesses
  • Newport County Chamber of Commerce
  • North Central Chamber of Commerce
  • North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce
  • Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce
  • Oil Heat Institute of Rhode Island
  • Rhode Island Builders Association
  • Rhode Island Hospitality Association
  • Rhode Island Independent Contractors & Associates
  • Rhode Island Lumber and Building Materials Dealer Association
  • Rhode Island Manufacturers Association
  • Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association
  • Rhode Island Small Business Economic Summit
  • Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE)
  • Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance
  • Southern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce
  • Utility Contractors Association of Rhode Island


The Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council, on behalf of this coalition, prepared a long-term policy document, which is intended to serve as a statement of this coalition’s policy priorities for improving Rhode Island’s competitiveness and cost-of-doing-business. This coalition recognizes that there will be no one act, or “game changer,” that will  improve the state’s economy. Rather, stakeholders must accomplish a variety of reforms across multiple subject areas including, but not limited to taxes, education, regulatory, and employer-employee relationship  reform.

To see a copy of the coalition's long-term policy priorities, please click here.