Lending to small businesses through U.S. Small Business Administration programs is on the upswing in Rhode Island, thanks in large measure to the efforts of community banks, although a traditional SBA powerhouse is back on course in the Ocean State.
Despite relatively strong growth in the number of women-owned businesses in the state, Rhode Island ranks near the bottom of the nation in the overall strength of that segment of the state’s economy.
By Brendan L. McKenna
When signs National Marker Co. was shipping to customers kept getting damaged, the North Smithfield-based company started looking for a solution. That was in 2011. The result was a scratch-resistant product that the company realized could also be treated to protect signs from fading and allow graffiti to be easily removed. The new product, unveiled in 2012, has led to strong growth, says owner Michael Black. Above, Black moves a sheet of Fatheads to a cutting machine.
Family-owned businesses are a fixture of American enterprise. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 70 percent of all businesses in the U.S. are family businesses of one kind or another. And while most of them are small, many big companies – even in the Fortune 500 – are family controlled.
Employee theft is one of the most serious problems facing small-business owners in the U.S. According to the National Federation of Independent Business, an employee is 15 times more likely than a nonemployee to steal from an employer, and employees account for an estimated 44 percent of theft losses at stores. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that nearly one-third of business failures are related to employee theft or fraud.
Social media has become second nature for many small-business owners and startup entrepreneurs. Business owners spend significant time – and sometimes money as well – seeking fans, likes and followers on all kinds of social platforms, from Facebook and Twitter, to LinkedIn, Quora, Tumblr and Pinterest, among others.
Join PBN and two panels of successful female executives, business owners and entrepreneurs as we delve into what women should do to advance their careers, and become leaders in the corporate world and their own enterprises.
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.