Calling All Food Businesses Operating in RI!

Accelerate your innovation with Branchfood and the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) Providence (225 Dyer St.) by accessing complimentary workspace for the remainder of 2023. Enjoy shared amenities, tap into a global network of diverse industries, access bookable meeting and event spaces, and join curated events. Don’t miss this opportunity to engage with the vibrant local ecosystem and advance your goals.

Contact for more info. 

“At Branchfood, we bring food founders and leaders together with corporate partners, investors, and experts to create a platform for collaboration and provide strategic advice to help the sector grow and thrive,” said Branchfood Founder and CEO Lauren Abda. “We are thrilled to expand this work into Rhode Island, where we hope to bolster the state’s already rich food ecosystem to help solve the food industry’s most pressing challenges while also positioning Rhode Island to become an internationally-recognized food innovation leader.”

Learn More About Branchfood
Apply Here

In The News

Rhode Island FY24 Budget

“My Fiscal Year 2024 budget proposal is aimed at making further progress toward our RI 2030 goals. There are three goals, in particular, that remain at the top of my mind: raising incomes for all Rhode Islanders; improving educational outcomes that meet Massachusetts’ levels by 2030; and creating a healthier state where we reduce chronic illness and improve health outcomes.”

-Governor Daniel J. McKee

Small Business Friendliness: Investing in Our Economy and Supporting Local Businesses

  • Growing our Life Sciences Economy: Makes a $45 million investment in the life sciences sector which includes the development of wet lab incubator spaces. Establishes a quasi-public agency to coordinate life sciences investments.

  • Providing Tangible Tax Relief: Establishes a statewide exemption of $50,000, with reimbursement to cities and towns starting in FY25. Municipalities may not increase tangible tax rates.

  • Ending the Litter Tax for Local Businesses: Provides relief to local businesses by ending the litter tax. Under the current structure, the nearly $1 million collected from this tax is not directed to support litter or environmental initiatives. Instead, the budget funds a specific anti-litter initiative at the Department of Environmental Management.

  • Stabilizing the Workers Compensation Fund: Directs more than $4 million into the Workers Compensation Fund to prevent an increase in the premiums paid by Rhode Island businesses.

  • Improving Access to Capital for Small Businesses: Adds $2.6 million to the Small Business Assistance Program which connects businesses struggling to obtain lines of credit with community-based lenders.

  • Strengthening Rhode Island’s Workforce: Expands the Wavemaker Fellowship student loan forgiveness program to include teachers

  • Delivering Utilities Rate Relief: Provides Rhode Islanders with a rebate for the 4 percent gross receipts tax on their electric bills and 3 percent gross receipts tax on their natural gas bills. This will result in $35 million in total relief for families and businesses.
Click Here For a Full FY24 Budget Review

URI Receives $1.2 Million in Federal Funds to Strengthen the state’s biotech workforce

The University of Rhode Island Pharmaceutical Development Institute has received $1.2 million in federal funding to strengthen teaching and training programs in an effort to increase innovation opportunities for biotechnology and biopharmaceutical ventures in Rhode Island, U.S. Sen. Jack Reed announced Tuesday.

“Rhode Island is quickly becoming a hub for biotechnology,” Reed said. “We have the essential building blocks: a strong research base; top-flight institutions of higher education like our flagship, URI; and the best location in the nation. I’m proud to deliver this $1.2 million in federal funding to help our state build on the strategic advantages we already have and to ensure that local biotech firms have the trained professionals needed to support and sustain the growth of this industry in Rhode Island.”

Read the Article for More Information

RI Broadband & Digital Equity

National Telecommunications and Information Administration is allocating funding from the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program to every state, territory, and the District of Columbia. This grant will primarily fund the deployment of high-speed Internet infrastructure to everyone in America as part of President Biden’s Internet for All initiative. For Rhode Island, that means almost $109M to connect every household in the State to affordable, reliable, high-speed internet service and support digital equity efforts.

For More Information Visit the Broadband Website

Division of Taxation

Summertime is a great time for outdoor activities of all kinds. In anticipation of summer shows, the Division has created a show promoter checklist to aid promoters in voluntary compliance. View the document below, and, as always, questions about maintaining compliance with sales activities can be directed to the Division's Excise Tax Section at

Coming Up

Economic uncertainty and inflation are significantly impacting consumer behavior, posing new sales obstacles for consumer product companies of all sizes. Consumer Package Goods leaders ought to adapt their sales approach and employ innovative strategies to navigate this dynamic environment and its challenges.

Join Branchfood and Trax Retail in their upcoming seminar for actionable insights into navigating sales and driving growth. If you are a sales, marketing, or business development professional in the consumer packaged goods industry, don't miss this opportunity to understand the impact of the economy on your business and develop strategies to grow sales.

We will cover a range of topics, including:

  • Understanding the current economic landscape and its impact on CPG sales
  • Adapting sales strategies to changing consumer behavior and purchasing power
  • Building strong relationships with retailers and distributors
  • Optimizing product assortments to meet evolving consumer needs
  • Formulating effective pricing and promotional strategies
  • Leveraging data and analytics for informed sales decision-making
  • Diversifying sales channels to mitigate risks
Register Here

RI MADE Kick-Off

Polaris MEP Is hosting a kick-off event for the RI MADE defense manufacturing program. 

RI MADE (Rhode Island Manufacturing to Accelerate the Defense Ecosystem) is a program in which manufacturers within the Defense Supply Chain (or those considering Defense contracts) are eligible to apply for technical and/or capital assistance and support of up to $50,000. 

At this event, Ocean State manufacturers currently in the defense supply chain AND those who wish to be will find out how they can take advantage of free assessments (valued at $3K) and potential project support in three major areas:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Automation Readiness/Robotics
  • Risk Mitigation

WHEN: July 31, 2023, at 11 am

WHERE: Nautilus Defense, 999 Main St #7060, Pawtucket, RI 02860

Register Here

Foreign Ownership Compliance (FOCI), Government Contracting

Join the Rhode Island Apex Accelerator program (RI PTAC) for this training event on government contracting basics. Learn the steps you need to take to get your business started in government contracting. 

To register for this event please email with your name, business name, and email.

Date: 7/18/2023

Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM (EDT)

Registration Deadline: 7/18/2023 8:00 AM (EDT)

Location: 315 Iron Horse Way, Suite 101, Narragansett Room, Providence RI 02908


2023 Department of Defense Northeast Regional Matchmaker Business Training & Resource Fair

Join The APEX Accelerators of the Northeast for this regional matchmaker.

This two-day conference is a unique opportunity for Government Agencies, Prime Contractors, and New England area Small Businesses to engage directly with each other. Come and experience:

  • Exciting featured speakers
  • B2G opportunities
  • Cutting-edge workshops tailored for Buyers and Suppliers
  • Opportunity to network with industry and government leaders
  • Access to regional resources
  • Government contracting expert advice

The DoD Regional Matchmaker helps businesses develop relationships with government buyers and large prime contractors. The event features one-on-one discussions with agencies and large prime contractors from local, state, and federal organizations. It includes pre-scheduled matchmaking.

Date: 8/9/2023 - 8/10/2023

Time: 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM (EDT)

Registration Deadline: 8/9/2023 8:00 AM (EDT)

Location: 625 N Road, Groton CT 06340

Click Here for More Info or to Register

Foundation 2 Blade | Rhode Island

What is Foundation 2 Blade:

Foundation 2 Blade is the industry’s most comprehensive training program for businesses that are ready to take advantage of the opportunities in the offshore wind industry. Over the course of three sessions, you will gain the tools, resources, and industry connections that prepare your business to successfully enter the offshore wind supply chain.

Attend Foundation 2 Blade and you will:

  • Understand the phases and operations of offshore wind project development
  • Determine where your company best fits in the supply chain
  • Identify how you might diversify your products and services
  • Understand the contracting process
  • Learn a broad range of offshore wind terminology
  • Identify additional training or certification requirements
  • Identify unique, competitive advantages for your business
  • Develop or modify a business/market-entry plan
  • Gain the knowledge and confidence to pitch your business to offshore wind professionals

Who should attend?

Any business or individual ready to take advantage of business opportunities in offshore wind and want to join the supply chain.

Register Here

Upcoming Training Events:

July 18th

July 19th

To View All Upcoming Events and Trainings Click Here

Quick Links for Suppliers and Businesses

Not yet a part of the SupplyRI database? Click here to register as a supplier today!

Business Assistance

Business advisors at Rhode Island Commerce are standing by to assist you. Complete this form and a business advisor will respond within one business day.

Best Regards,

Doris Blanchard

Director of Small Business Programs

401.278.9127 |

Kayleigh Hill

SupplyRI Program Manager

401.278.9111 |

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