Letter: Rhode Island business climate - Time for a change

Posted 6/19/21

To the editor:

Business leaders from across the state held a press conference recently to address proposed tax legislation and the impact it would have on Rhode Island’s business climate. …

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Letter: Rhode Island business climate - Time for a change

Posted

To the editor:

Business leaders from across the state held a press conference recently to address proposed tax legislation and the impact it would have on Rhode Island’s business climate. The group had a unified message for the General Assembly – this is not the time to raise taxes. Taxing PPP forgiveness or increasing income taxes on business owners as we recover from the worst crisis we will ever face creates serious long-term consequences. 

98.9 percent of the businesses in Rhode Island are small businesses employing more than 50 percent of the workforce. In other words, small businesses and pass-through entities (sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, and S-corporations) will be disproportionately impacted by these proposals; pass-through entities are becoming a dominant business structure in the state.

Most of us have known Governor McKee for years; he is an honest, family-oriented individual who wants to do what is best for Rhode Island and its citizens. He and his team have gone out of their way to meet with each of us to discuss our concerns; he has indicated he is not supportive of efforts to raise taxes; we are grateful that he is listening. 

All of us love this state – we want to be here. The crowd of more than 175 who attended the event recognize the need to improve the Rhode Island business climate; we can no longer continue to be at the bottom of the country for doing business.  A successful economy is tied to an environment that allows businesses to grow and prosper, creating quality, high-paying jobs. 

Continued economic struggles and the uncertain future many businesses face mean we need leaders who understand the key to a booming economy and our recovery is a business climate conducive to attracting and retaining businesses. It is imperative we create an atmosphere that encourages existing companies to not only stay but expand their operations in the state. 

We have everything we need to grow Rhode Island’s economy – internationally recognized dining and tourist attractions, beautiful beaches, world-class colleges and universities and a great quality of life. Creating a business climate that embraces and supports the business community will keep much-needed jobs and revenue in Rhode Island.

Governor McKee supports our desire to change Rhode Island’s business climate - we stand with him in this endeavor.

David M. Chenevert

John Hazen White

Karl Wadensten

Melissa Travis 

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