On February 28, 2012, RIPEC held a forum on the state’s business climate, sponsored by Fidelity, focusing focus on the steps Rhode Island should take to improve the perception that the state is not a good place to start or grow a business. The three-hour forum included presentations from the following:John Simmons, Executive Director, Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council (click to see presentation);
Joseph D. Henchman, Tax Counsel & Director of State Projects, Tax Foundation (click to see presentation);
Jonathan Haughton, Senior Economist, Beacon Hill Institute for Public Policy, Suffolk University (click to see presentation);
Paul McGreevy, Director, Rhode Island Department of Business Regulations (click to see presentation); and
Leslie Taito, Director of Regulatory and Quality Management, Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (click to see presentation).
While Rhode Island’s long-term prospects show some positive signs, it is clear that there are a number of areas the state must address to increase its ability to compete in a challenging economic environment. Chief among these is continuing to pursue thoughtful tax and regulatory reform, improving the state’s infrastructure, and working to leverage the capacity of the state’s institutions of higher education and other assets.