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RI Youth Hit Hardest by Sluggish Economy

May 21, 2013

You think it’s tough finding a job in Rhode Island if you’re an adult, try being someone just starting out.  A new report shows the youth unemployment rate in Rhode Island is nearly twice the adult rate.

The unemployment rate in Rhode Island is 8.8 percent. But for people aged 16 to 24, it’s 17 percent. That, according to the youth advocacy group “Young Invincibles,” which based its conclusions on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment we're calling "The Bottom Line." Each Friday they look at business news and themes that affect local business and the public.

This week Dave and Mark discuss the proposed Internet tax in Congress and implications for state revenue, sales tax, and brick-and-mortar stores.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

Twenty businesses in Rhode Island received grants from the state to help pay for employee training.

The Governor’s Workforce Board doled out $60,000 worth of matching grants to help businesses pay for training. Employers can either match the $5,000 grants or provide an approved internship to cut their match in half.

This round of grants will help pay for training in such areas as medical billing, software training and welding technology. The governor calls the grants ideal for small businesses.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment we're calling "The Bottom Line." Each Friday it looks at business news and themes that affect local business and the public.

This week Dave and Mark talk with Grow Smart Rhode Island executive director Scott Wolf. They discuss proposals for the Superman Building, the costs of such development,  urban residential living and trends in downtown office buildings.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

Aspiera Medical head David Goldsmith discusses the new “MedMates” health care network that is developing across Rhode Island; connecting startups, existing companies, researchers and colleges and universities.

Chafee: Internet Sales Tax a Matter of Fairness

Apr 23, 2013

Senator Jack Reed and Governor Lincoln Chafee are urging Congress to pass the  Marketplace Fairness Act. The bill would require online merchants to pay state sales taxes. Chafee and Reed say it’s a matter of fairness.

Reed and Chafee stood side by side in a West Warwick furniture store to urge Congress to allow a vote on the Marketplace Fairness Act.  Chafee said the bill – which would require online merchants to pay state sales taxes – would add $70 million a year to the state treasury.

Senator Jack Reed and Governor Lincoln Chafee are asking Congress to pass legislation that allows state to collect taxes from online purchasing. 

Senator Jack Reed is a co-sponsor of the “Marketplace Fairness Act,” which would open the door for states to collect sales taxes from online retailers.  Right now it’s up to shoppers to pony up when filing their income taxes.

The Bottom Line: Creating a Smarter RIPTA

Apr 19, 2013

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment we're calling "The Bottom Line." Each Friday it looks at business news and themes that affect local business and the public.

This week Dave and Mark talk with Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, also RIPTA chairman. The segment centers on proposals to move bus lines out of Kennedy Plaza and to restructure RIPTA lines across the state.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

Urban Farm Supply Store Draws Debate

Apr 15, 2013
Elisabeth Harrison/RIPR

A new farm and garden supply store on the West Side of Providence has become a source of neighborhood controversy.  Residents rallied Sunday in support of the business called Cluck!.

About a hundred people sipped coffee and munched on scones at the Sunday morning rally.  They were there to support a new store that aims to supply small growers and chicken farmers in the city.  Community member Alice Danahy says the storefront, which used to be an abandoned gas station, was an eyesore.

The state’s economy cooled down in the first two months of this year. That’s according to a University of Rhode Island economist. The slowdown comes just as the state’s economy was starting to get its mojo back.

URI professor Len Lardaro said a wide swath of the state’s economy was starting to cook during the back half of last year. But in January and February, that growth cooled off. Lardaro said sluggish retail sales and an uptick in unemployment claims have him worried.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment we're calling "The Bottom Line." Each Friday it looks at business news and themes that affect local business and the public.

This week Dave and Mark talk with Brown University executive vice president for planning and policy, Russell Carey, on Brown’s plans to expand its School of Engineering. The School will stay on the College Hill campus, instead of heading to the Jewelry District. We discuss why the decision was made, along with plans for the School.

Electric Boat is looking to expand its footprint at the Quonset Point shipyard. Electric Boat spokesman Bob Hamilton said discussions are preliminary at this point, but he said space will be needed for the construction of two, Virginia-class submarines and other work for the U.S. Navy.

“We expect to need some space for the Navy’s Moored Training Ships, which we’re involved with,” said Hamilton, “as well as the Ohio replacement, which is the next class of submarine.”

Hamilton said sequestration cuts will have a minimal impact on Electric Boat’s submarine building work.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Flip through catalogs for J.C. Penney, Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn and you could see a braided rug for sale. You might assume that rug was made overseas, but there’s a good chance it was made in Pawtucket. As part of our on-going series, Made in Rhode Island, Catherine Welch visited Colonial Mills where thousands of braided rugs are shipped out of Pawtucket to major chain stores across the country.

The head of Rhode Island’s film office said tax credits helped lure an independent film production starring Mark Ruffalo. The movie will be shooting around the state until mid-May.

The film, “Infinitely Polar Bear” is based on the life of its director, who happened to have spent time in Rhode Island. Head of the state’s film office, Steven Feinberg, said Massachusetts and New York were courting the production, but Rhode Island landed the film thanks to tax credits and some unique locations.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment we're calling "The Bottom Line." Each Friday it looks at business news and themes that affect local business and the public.

This week Dave and Mark talk with Rick Brooks, executive director of the Governor’s Workforce Board. They discuss the jobs landscape, how jobs training programs work, and job advice for people who need a job now.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

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