The Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce is the advocate for growing and protecting the business community in Rhode Island. The Chamber is financially strong with more than 1,200 member-companies located throughout Rhode Island and beyond. Our staff is composed of experts in economic development, government affairs, small business and entrepreneurship and is led by a Certified Chamber Executive.
Our headquarters is located at 30 Exchange Terrace in Providence, which once housed the historic Union Station railroad depot. In the mid-1980s, after the train tracks were relocated, the Chamber bought the building at the west end of the Romanesque complex. That move catalyzed the redevelopment of an important urban corridor. Today, Commerce Center sits at the confluence of the city’s financial, retail, jewelry and knowledge districts.
The Chamber’s program of work is organized to deliver specialized services. We are there to be your advocate and your watchdog on issues ranging from taxes and health care to the fire code and labor regulations. In addition, we provide direct member services and specialized problem solving. We help facilitate connections and build awareness.
The Chamber is the place where small and medium-size business, in particular, can find an avenue for “organizing the fight.” We analyze bills and determine what affect they will have on the overall business community. Fighting back is easy through our CapWiz electronic messaging tool. For example, we “organized the fight” to stop the proposed $165 million expansion of the Rhode Island sales tax, and the subsequent effort to levy a new meals and beverage tax.
We vigorously defended business interests on the new federal health care act, unemployment insurance taxes, personal income taxes, digital download taxes, pension reform, miscellaneous fee-gouging and regulatory underbrush as well as on T.F. Green Airport expansion and runway upgrades. Lobbying isn’t pretty, but it is essential. With the Chamber, there is strength and opportunity in numbers.
The Chamber is where the state’s most civic-minded business leaders convene to work on issues that affect your business and our community. Taxes, public education and stimulating local demand are just some of the economic development issues that drive our policy work. The Chamber provides a forum for channeling your energies.
Growth is central to our agenda. Who are the major players? Where is the new investment taking place? What industries are doing well and why? Who’s leaving? Who’s coming? Where is our economy headed? Who’s adding jobs? Who’s contracting? Gain valuable market intelligence. Be conversant on the issues. Get one step ahead of the competition.
Members of the Chamber are also deeply engaged in growing Rhode Island’s transition to the knowledge economy. Through in-depth research, we are providing market intelligence on how to break into those new industries that are on a growth trajectory.