On May 27, 2013, the Providence City Council (the “Council”) approved a resolution establishing a 15-member City of Providence Task Force on Economic Development (the “Task Force”).  As stated in the resolution, the Task Force’s mission was:

  • Recommending an implementation plan for identified economic development strategies for Providence, taking into account current assets, challenges, and opportunities for long-term growth and stability;
  • Benchmarking and setting goals for funding priorities, including Downtown and neighborhood-based economic development opportunities; and
  • Studying and making recommendations regarding the future of 111 Westminster, including reviewing the economic impact, examining and recommending various options, and financing.

The Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council (RIPEC) was hired to provide research and data on the city’s economy and to write a final report outlining the Task Force’s findings and recommendations.  RIPEC also assisted the Task Force by facilitating discussion during public meetings, briefing the Task Force on policy issues, and providing relevant reports and other documents.  A complete schedule of the public meetings that were held and a list of the documents provided to the Task Force is included in the Appendix. To see the full report, click here.

The report includes six sections:

  • An “Executive Summary” summarizing the key findings and recommendations in the report;
  • The “Overview and Recommendations” section provides a brief history of Providence and presents the Task Force’s proposed economic vision statement for Providence and other recommendations to aid economic development in the city;
  • The “Demographic Data” section presents key demographic and economic statistics for Providence County;
  • The “Providence Economic Development System” section describes the governmental agencies responsible for economic development in Providence and the programs that they currently administer;
  • A “111 Westminster Street” section is devoted entirely to issues surrounding the building commonly known as the “Superman Building;”
  • An “Appendix” consisting of supplemental data, including an industry-analysis for Providence, sample ordinances, and a model of the tax stabilization agreement proposal made in this report.
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