This morning, Mayor Angel Taveras held a special Providence Foundation meeting to announce the city’s action plan for economic development, Putting Providence Back to Work. Foundation chairman Bill Hatfield welcomed more than 120 trustees, incorporators and guests to the Brown ICERM where he expressed his confidence in the mayor’s ability to pursue economic growth.
The mayor thanked the Foundation for its long unwavering commitment to the city of Providence, noting the many accomplishments that have resulted from our collective efforts. In order to accelerate the pace of economic development though, we’ll need more action. He said that we’ll need to sustain a diverse economy to achieve his vision of a “dynamic Providence driven by innovation and grit.” No single company or industry will solve our challenges; instead, the economy will be fueled by “meds & eds,” a working waterfront, and a thriving tourism industry. We must believe that we can succeed, and we need to set the foundation by supporting strong schools, safe neighborhoods, solid infrastructure, and good city services.
The mayor’s plan for economic development outlines 20 immediate actions. At the meeting, he highlighted five important steps that will improve the city’s business climate, infrastructure, and investment in human capital:
• Freezing the commercial tax rate to guarantee consistency and stability.
• Fixing the permitting process by making the entire application system accessible online.
• Removing barriers to redevelopment by taking an inventory of structures, identifying landmarks and spurring development on key parcels.
• Developing surface lots citywide by creating incentives for new development.
• Reinventing Kennedy Plaza as a cultural and commercial gateway.
Mayor Taveras also mentioned operational support for small businesses, as well as the launch of a regional marketing campaign to attract visitors to Providence. For more information, read the city’s press release and complete economic development plan, along with articles on pbn.com and providencejournal.com. Learn more about The Providence Foundation here.