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Another week and, it seems, another report. Fourth Economy Consulting delivered a report to the R.I. Economic Development Corporation last week based on the goal of building a more vibrant and sustainable economy.
The 104-page report treads on much familiar ground, and follows on the heels of the January report jointly issued by the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council and the R.I. Senate entitled “Moving the Needle,” about how the state could improve on its business-survey rankings.
As easy as it would be to let the sheer volume of reports – these two are only the most recent ones – induce a sense of paralysis, the Fourth Economy effort does contain a few points that bear repetition as well as a sincere effort to act on them.
• The report asks that the state create a single, clear economic vision, with a single person tasked with driving the plan forward. What could be simpler, and yet it is something that has eluded state leaders for years.
• The authors emphasize the need for action (as opposed to study).
• Many regulations form a roadblock to economic activity and must be rationalized.
• And finally, the consultant restates the obvious – getting capital into the hands of the state’s businesses is a necessity, not a luxury.
The state needs many things on the economic-development front, but if these can be accomplished soon, we will be much better off. •