#36 Rhode Island

From the Governor

“Thanks to our investments in economic development and skills training, Rhode Island’s biotechnology industry is on the rise.” —Gov. Gina M. Raimondo

A Potential Game Changer in the Ocean State

Rhode Island’s economy continues to expand, and unemployment is now at a 20-year low. A new action plan by Brown University identified key areas where the institution can help strengthen the state’s development, and companies are taking notice. Wexford Science, Collette and Rubius Technologies have announced new projects here in the past year, and CVS Health’s acquisition of Aetna could be a big game changer for Providence.

Key Contacts

Rhode Island Commerce Corporation

Jesse Saglio, President
315 Iron Horse Way, Suite 101
Providence, RI 02908

Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce

Laurie White, President
30 Exchange Terrace
Providence, RI 02903

Key Incentives

Rebuild Rhode Island Tax Credit: Offers redeemable tax credits to cover up to 20%, and in some cases 30%, of project costs for commercial office, industrial, residential, mixed-used development and ground-up construction for projects with a minimum $5 million investment.

Tax Increment Financing: Offers capital for eligible projects with a demonstrated “financing gap.” Tax revenue rebates must not exceed 30% of total project costs or 75% of incremental revenue generated.

Qualified Jobs Incentive Tax Credit: Offers annual, redeemable tax credits for up to 10 years and up to $7,500 per job per year.


Rhode Island Commerce Corp.: commerceri.com

Grow Smart RI: growsmartri.org/category/economic-development

RI Economic Development Corp.: ririvers.org/wsp/whoswho/EDC.htm

Providence Economic Development: providenceeconomicdevelopment.net

Highlighted Program or Initiative

In July 2018, Brown University released the Brown and the Innovation Economy strategic action plan identifying key economic areas where the university is positioned to make an immediate impact. It included action items in talent development and retention, industry/academic partnerships, building innovation capacity and infrastructure, support for entrepreneurs and deepening the state’s ties to regional economic hubs.

Big Deals

  • Wexford Science and Technology broke ground in September 2017 on a 191,000-square-foot innovation complex in Providence.
  • Collette announced in August 2018 it will expand in Pawtucket and create 75 new jobs in IT, business development and professional services.
  • Rubius Therapeutics broke ground in September 2018 on a $155 million manufacturing facility in Smithfield that will create 160 new jobs.
  • After months of consideration, federal regulators approved in October 2018 the acquisition of Aetna by Woonsocket-headquartered CVS Health.

Big Companies

Ocean State Lob Lot
Virgin Pulse
Electric Boat

Four Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the state:

United Natural Foods
Citizens Financial Group

C-Suite Testimonials

“The Rhode Island Commerce Corp. and Gov. Raimodo have an impressive and growing track record of attracting top biotechnology companies and creating high-paying jobs. I am happy to be able to say that Rubius Therapeutics is now a part of this booming ecosystem of biotechnology innovation.” —Pablo J. Cagnoni, M.D., CEO, Rubius Therapeutics

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