Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Dave and Mark talk with Bruce Lane, president-elect of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. They discuss rising home prices in the state, the impact this bad winter has had on home sales and how the housing market affects the local economy.



When to Listen

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

The Bottom Line: What Will It Take To Pump Life Into RI's Economy?

Mar 3, 2014

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Chuck Hinman fills in for Dave, he and Mark talk with Dean of Providence College's School of Business, Dr. Sylvia Maxfield. They discuss efforts to pump life into the state's economy, such as the Make It Happen project, and what needs to be done to improve Rhode Island's business climate.

When to Listen

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

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Block announced his “Block Plan” to “fix Rhode Island,” should he be elected governor.

Block outlined a series of major tax reforms he would pursue, including reducing the corporate sales tax from 9 percent to 7 percent.  That would make it the lowest in New England.

He also called for eliminating a $500 minimum tax for new businesses. Block said the current tax policy makes Rhode Island an uninviting place for businesses and entrepreneurs.

New Life For The 'Superman' Building?

Feb 11, 2014

There may be new hope for the tallest building in Rhode Island.  But efforts to rehab the so-called Superman building, in downtown Providence, failed just last year.

The 26 story building, built in 1928 went dark in April of last year, when its tenants, Bank of America, moved out. The owner, Massachusetts-based High Rock Development, proposed a plan to turn the office space into residences.

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 pour over the latest PBN survey of local businesses. PBN has been conducting the survey since 2008, and this one is more optimistic than in years past: it finds more businesses expect to hire in the coming year and capital investment is up.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Second District Congressman Jim Langevin joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss President Obama's State of the Union address; Clay Pell's entry in the Democratic primary for governor; and his re-election battle with Republican Rhue Reis. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

In the governor's race Republicans are responding to Democratic proposals to raise the state’s minimum wage.

It’s an issue that’s dividing candidates along party lines.

Providence Mayor and Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras was the first to give specifics about a plan to hike the minimum wage.

He’s proposing a two-dollar ten cent increase over the next four years; from eight dollars to ten-dollars ten cents by 2018.

Fellow Democratic candidate for governor, and state treasurer Gina Raimondo wants to see the same increase, but by 2015.


Political and business leaders are meeting in a couple events Tuesday looking at how to rev up the state’s economy.

The first event is a roundtable centered on the national issues, such as patents, facing the state’s innovation industry, and how this industry can help boost Rhode Island’s struggling economy.

Both Senator Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse will attend the roundtable, along with Congressman David Cicilline.

The Rhode Island Association of Realtors says home sales were down eleven percent in the state during during November as compared to 2012.

The Realtors' Association says the decline in sales was the most significant lull in the past thirty months.

They say sales were likely down thanks in part to the federal government shutdown in October, and rising interest rates.

However, the median home price in Rhode Island was up three percent at $201,000.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed sat down prior to the start of the new General Assembly session to discuss top issues facing the state, including the economy; the growing cost of paying back investors in 38 Studios, Sakonnet River Bridge tolls, voter ID, and more.

File photo / RIPR

The Political Roundtable crew looks back at the top political stories of the year, including the race governor; the implementation of Obamacare in Rhode Island; the Ocean State's persistently high unemployment; and the emerging legacy of Lincoln Chafee.

John Bender / RIPR

Big box store Target announced last week that a security breach exposed the credit and debit card information of some 40 million customers.

But asthe hours ticked down toward Christmas that didn’t keep Ocean state shoppers away.

With less than 48 hours to go before Christmas morning, a steady stream of customers moved in and out of the Target store at the Warwick Mall.

Many customers seemed unfazed or unworried by the security breach, and most continued to use their credit and debit cards.

Fred and Helen Butts were among many holiday shoppers.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

The hours are dwindling to Christmas and the annual shopping frenzy is on.

Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay says we should shop local to support the Rhode Island the Rhode Island economy, and details what Congress can do to help.

Scott MacKay’s commentary can be heard at 6:35 and 8:35 every Monday on Morning Edition and at 5:50 on All Things Considered. You can also follow his political reporting and analysis at our ‘On Politics’ blog at

Home Sales Surging Back In Rhode Island

Nov 27, 2013
Courtesy RI Housing

October was another good month for home sales in Rhode Island.

The sale of single family homes in Rhode Island rose 19 percent between October 2012 and October 2013. During the same time frame the median price rose from $200,000 to $204,000.  Sales of condos rose 11 percent over the year and the median price is up 17 percent.

Rhode Island Association of Realtors president Robert Martin said growth in the housing market is slow and steady with no negatives.

Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

The Rhode Island Community Food Bank is out with its annual report on hunger.  It shows the recession is still playing a very large role in the lives of Ocean State residents.

The Rhode Island Community Food Bank is now serving 68-thousand people a month, up three percent from a year ago and an all-time high.  At the same time, food donations are down by nearly two million pounds, said Food Bank CEO Andrew Schiff.