Creating a Small Business-Friendly Rhode Island

As a small business owner and Chair of Rhode Island’s Small Business Advocacy Council (SBAC), Dan is taking bold steps to strengthen the state’s small business sector and ensure that the voice of the small business community is heard at the State House. To that end, Dan has embarked on an aggressive effort to meet with as many small business owners as possible. Dan is using their input to work with the SBAC to identify legislative and regulatory initiatives that can improve the competitiveness of Rhode Island business.

Check out a few highlights from Dan’s small business record as Lt. Governor:

Empower RI: Dan created Empower RI, an energy shopping website that allows ratepayers to shop for the best electricity rates for their homes and businesses. The site has already saved Rhode Islanders hundreds of thousands of dollars.

 

Billing adjustment: After visiting a small business that was hit with a $1000+ fee from National Grid when its owner switched the company’s electric supplier at the wrong time, Dan worked to eliminate that fee known as the “billing adjustment.” Rhode Islanders can now take advantage of a competitive market and safely shop for alternate electric suppliers.

Ratepayer protection legislative package: Dan proposed 5 pieces of legislation that would increase customer service to electric ratepayers and lower energy costs for Rhode Island small businesses and residential customers. He will continue to champion these bills next legislative session.

Keg tax: Dan convened a group of brewery owners to get their input on obstacles to growth in Rhode Island’s brewing industry. Through their discussion, Dan uncovered a tax on kegs that is charged to brewers in Rhode Island but not to brewers in neighboring sates. Dan is calling for the elimination of the keg tax which is creating a competitive burden for the state’s breweries.

Paint recycling fee: Dan is currently working with the Department of Environmental Management to reduce an inflated paint recycling fee charged to individual consumers and local businesses.

Advance RI TV: To give small businesses a voice, Dan launched a public access cable TV Show, Advance RI, which highlights the concerns and challenges facing small businesses in Rhode Island. The show is a vehicle that has allowed Dan to identify specific legislative and regulatory issues that are negatively impacting small businesses.