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SBA, Governor Raimondo, Congressional Delegation, and Rhode Island Foundation Boost Small Business Saturday by “Shopping Small”

Release Date: 
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Release Number: 
Ryan Brissette (401) 528-4630

Newport, RI – Today, Governor Gina Raimondo, US Senator Jack Reed, US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman David Cicilline, Lt. Governor Dan McKee, local officials, and President of the Rhode Island Foundation Neil Steinberg joined Small Business Administration District Director, Mark Hayward, at 56 Washington Square in Newport to kick-off Small Business Saturday. The event was held in conjunction with the Newport County Chamber of Commerce which then led the group on a walking tour of Broadway, visiting multiple small businesses in hopes of encouraging others to do the same in their communities.

“Small businesses have a tremendous impact on our state’s economy and in particular in local communities,” said SBA District Director Mark S. Hayward, “95.8% of employers in Rhode Island are small businesses. These are your friends, your family, and your neighbors and by shopping small you are sending a message that we support you,” he added.

“As we look toward the holidays, I want to remind everyone to shop local and support Rhode Island’s small businesses- not just on Small Business Saturday, but year-round,” Governor Raimondo said. “These businesses are the lifeblood of our economy. Through programs like Commerce RI’s Small Business Assistance Program, we’re investing in their success and making our communities stronger.”

“Small businesses are a big part of our community and the economy. We want to help them thrive all throughout the year. This is the busiest shopping weekend of the year for many Americans, and Small Business Saturday has become a great way for shops and stores with limited advertising budgets to work together and remind customers about the benefits of shopping local,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed. “At the federal level, Congress must do more to help small businesses grow and that means investing in our workforce, infrastructure, and education system. It also means creating incentives for businesses to hire, cutting red tape, and providing increased access to capital.”

“Shopping at Rhode Island small businesses is a simple way that each of us can help boost the local economy this holiday season,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “In addition to supporting jobs and keeping more dollars recirculating in our communities, shopping at small businesses has the added benefit of promoting the unique products that are made and sold in Rhode Island.”

"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and I look forward to highlighting their vital role in our state on Small Business Saturday," said Congressman David Cicilline. "With the Holiday Season upon us, I urge all Rhode Islanders to support our state's small businesses by shopping and dining locally. I am committed to supporting and strengthening our small business community year-round, ensuring they have the technical and financial resources they need to thrive and create and sustain good paying jobs here in the state."

To put the importance of Small Business Saturday in perspective SBA statistics show that there are more than 96,000 small businesses in Rhode Island with over 220,000 employees. The income that these businesses garner from events like Small Business Saturday is, in many cases, vital to the yearly success of that business.

“Promoting the economic security of all Rhode Islanders is one of our highest priorities. Our Buy Local RI campaign encourages consumers to patronize locally owned businesses now and year round. That spending will ripple through the economy, creating jobs and giving small businesses the resources to support their community,” said Neil Steinberg, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation. “We are proud to partner with the SBA, the Newport County Chamber, Congressional, state and local officials; and local business leaders to promote the importance of shopping locally.”

In collaboration with the Rhode Island Foundation’s Buy Local RI campaign, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will also be promoting additional shop local events including a “Shop Hop” tour. The multi-day tour will continue the Washington Square event by visiting the following businesses:

  • November 23rd – Noon to 2 p.m. Two Ten Oyster Bar, South Kingstown
  • November 25th – Noon to 2 p.m. Building Blocks Toy Store, Block Island
  • November 28th - 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Harbor Bath & Body, Bristol
  • November 29th - 10 a.m. to noon Wright’s Dairy Farm, North Smithfield
  • November 30th - 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Noon Designs, Pawtuxet Village
  • December 1st - 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Serendipity, Wickford
  • December 2nd - 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sip n’ Shop, Downtown Providence