Brett Smiley today unveiled his comprehensive plan to create jobs and grow the Providence economy. Smiley’s plan promises to make Providence an attractive place to start or grow a business by changing the way City Hall interacts with the business community, focusing on the following seven areas:
1) Making city government work for business.
2) Bolstering our “meds and eds” to create a base of steady jobs, trained employees, and lifelong residents.
3) Turning STEM into STEAM: Infusing our growing Knowledge Economy with the city’s arts and design.
4) Anchoring Providence’s working waterfront to the city’s economic growth.
5) ACT Providence: Promoting Providence’s arts, cultural, and tourism industries.
6) Advocating on behalf of the Greater Providence region.
7) Supporting Providence’s neighborhood businesses.
Highlight’s of Smiley’s plan include automating licensing and permitting services, ensuring equal access to city projects for minority and women-owned businesses, working in close partnership with our hospitals and universities, promoting local sourcing of labor and goods, investing in the thriving culture and tourism sector, encouraging the growth of entrepreneurial activity in arts and design, taking advantage of the short-sea shipping potential of Providence’s port, and recognizing and utilizing the economic power of the entire region.
Smiley commented, “All the elements are present to bring about an economic renaissance, and with the solutions I’ve outlined in this plan, I know we can realize our full potential as a hub of arts and culture, innovation and entrepreneurship, manufacturing and design and more.”
Smiley added, “The City of Providence already has great businesses, nonprofits and citywide initiatives focused on creating jobs and growing the economy. We need a mayor with a vision for how to capitalize on these strengths – a mayor who recognizes his role as the Chief Economic Development Officer for the city. That’s the kind of Mayor I’ll be.”
Smiley released his plan at the offices of TRAC Builders on Wolcott Street in Providence. This site is the first “net-zero” building in Rhode Island, producing all of its own energy from renewable sources. Additionally, TRAC Builders invests heavily in energy-efficient buildings and affordable housing.
Two elements of Smiley’s “Jobs & Economic Development Plan” were already released last month – proposals to take the politics out the revolving loan functions of the Providence Economic Development Partnership (PEDP) and to create an Office of Strategic Partnerships to bring new resources into the city.
Brett Smiley is running for Mayor of Providence in the September 2014 Democratic primary. Smiley is the founder and owner of a successful Providence small business.
Smiley’s full plan can be read here: Jobs & Economic Development Plan