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PROVIDENCE – Legislation establishing a panel to promote goods made in Rhode Island has become law.
Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee signed the identical House and Senate bills last week.
The new law sets up a nine-member Made in Rhode Island Manufacturing Collaborative that will work with an advisory board to create a program establishing standards for products produced in the state. Potentially eligible businesses are manufacturers or creative producers of tangible goods that originate in Rhode Island. Agricultural and seafood products are not included.
Over the coming year, the collaborative will work with the state’s manufacturing and creative communities to create eligibility requirements for businesses, designate a logo, identify funding sources and research similar practices in other states. The collaborative also will recommend marketing strategies to increase demand for locally produced goods and identify any regulatory restrictions that could inhibit that marketing effort.
The group is charged with reporting on its findings and recommendations for a state-sponsored Made in Rhode Island program by April of 2014.
The governor will appoint a representative from higher education with expertise in art and design to participate in the collaborative. Other members of the collaborative will include the director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation; several state department directors; the dean of the Rhode Island College School of Management and the executive director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. The RIEDC staff will support the collaborative.
The law also sets up a nine-member advisory committee of business representatives to advise the collaborative. •