U.S. Mayor Articles

Partner AmericaTM Update: Providence, Rome and Richmond

November 3 - Providence Mayor Vincent A. Cianci, Jr. hosted a small business roundtable with local small business owners to discuss issues they are facing and to identify potential areas where the Mayor's office could serve as a resource. One of the key issues expressed by small business participants is a shortage of qualified workers which they say stifles growth and expansion with many businesses unable to fill their openings. Mayor Cianci remarked, "We have to celebrate who we are. We are a city of small businesses. People don't trust the government. They feel government takes too long. We need to get rid of the red tape and get businesses interacting with government and each other." As a result of the small business event and Partner AmericaTM Chairman George A. Cloutier's suggestion, Mayor Cianci is considering establishing a Small Business Council to serve as an advisory to the Mayor and to address the small business needs and concerns.

November 8 - Richmond (VA) Mayor Timothy M. Kaine hosted a small business roundtable to get a read on his small business outreach efforts and found that there is room for improvement.

Approximately 30 small businesses attended the event with government officials and administrators. The concerns expressed included lack of capital, the need to improve technological advancement, the dissemination of information and diversity issues. James L. Price, president of Price Services participated in the roundtable and commented, "Mayor Kaine has a track record of making this happen and I look forward to seeing what he will do." The Mayor's Chief of Staff, Rita Henderson said the office is committed to build on its current programs and to ensure the small business community is included in the information loop.

November 20 - Rome (NY) Mayor Joseph A. Griffo hosted a small business roundtable for over 35 local small business leaders. The forum provided an opportunity for small business owners to express their frustrations with issues such as local building codes, rising health care and energy costs, e-commerce, the difficulty of finding workers, and the lack of a comprehensive resource for small business owners. Mayor Griffo identified three keys to boosting opportunities in Rome: land availability, sensible funding assistance and an easier process for establishing businesses. Mayor Griffo stated, "I would like to do things not only to bring in new businesses, but to foster the growth of businesses already here."

"Everywhere you go small businesses are under-recognized and part of our job is creating the awareness and the putting in place the mechanisms they need for success," stated Cloutier.

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