Economic Development

2nd R.I. small-biz expo slated for Sept. 22

LAST YEAR, when the state held its first such expo, more than 90 local, state and federal agencies had staff on hand to answer businesspeople’s questions.
Posted 9/12/08

PROVIDENCE – Small business owners who need answers from local, state or federal government agencies are invited to attend the state’s second annual “We Mean Business Expo.”

The event – slated for Monday, Sept. 22, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at 801 Greenwich Ave. in Warwick – is free and advance registration is not required.

It was launched last year by Every Company Counts, an initiative of the R.I. Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and the R.I. Secretary of State Office’s First Stop Business Information Center, to make it easier for businesspeople to get the answers and make the contacts at every level of government required to be successful today. (READ MORE)

Last year, when the state held its first We Mean Business Expo, the event featured representatives more than 90 government agencies and drew more than 400 attendees from small businesses across the state, according to Chris Barnett, spokesman for R.I. Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis.

“We encourage any businessperson having trouble getting answers from a government agency to stop by,” Barnett said.

More than an opportunity to pick up a brochure, the event will see representatives of government agencies on hand to answer questions from attendees face-to-face, he said. Many, but not all, of the state’s 39 cities and towns will be represented, he added. Last year, Providence, Pawtucket and Cranston were among the communities that sent representatives.

In many cases, Barnett noted, representatives will be present not only from a particular state department, but also from the various divisions within that department. For instance, several representatives might attend from the state Department of Health, each speaking for a different division.

For additional information, including a list of workshops at the Sept. 22 small business expo, or to register for the free event, visit

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