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Rhode Island BIz Winners and Flops

Saturday, August 24, 2013

 

Rhode Island’s economy is seriously stuck in neutral and needs a shot in the arm. The unemployment rate continues to trail the rest of the nation’s recovery. While other New England states are making progress in job creation, Rhode Island is flatlining.

Vermont’s unemployment is 4.6% and Rhode Island’s was 8.9% seasonally adjusted in July.

Here are some companies that could change the game for Rhode Island and drive a new economy. These are companies are owned and operated by Rhode Islanders and on the verge or experiencing real success:

WINNERS

Early Stage Companies:

ShutterCal: The Betaspring funded company has a simple and great product/service that every family can relate to – they have a big idea. ShutterCal is a calendar-based daily photo journal. It helps people organize, document, and share their most meaningful moment of each day – from any device or photo app.

TennisHub: This is a company with a lot of momentum. Everyone likes their model. The US Open might help kickstart a little more tennis passion in the US. TennisHub connects tennis players with high quality playing opportunities while also providing tennis clubs with powerful tools like online booking to help them grow their business.


Emerging Companies:

NuLabel Technologies: The Providence company takes an old school business need – labels – and gives it a technology upgrade to drive efficiency.

It has developed liner-free label technology to help companies cut costs & reduce waste. Almost every time a label is printed, end-users throw away half of what they print & half of what they pay for.

Andera: Smart, steady and just keeps growing. While others in the space have flamed out or gotten stale, Charlie Kroll’s Andera just keeps growing the company, innovating online banking technology and creating more jobs in Rhode Island.

Brawny Companies:

Alex and Ani: Keeps getting bigger and brawnier. It may just be the perfect company for Rhode Island. Alex and Ani couples the state’s design capabilities and harnesses its manufacturing expertise. The result is a company that keeps hiring, growing and making charitable donations.

Carousel Industries: The Exeter, RI telco company is the biggest company in Rhode Island that you have never heard of. With $347 million in sales, they keep growing and innovating. It supports telecommunications systems, providing unified communications, virtualization, VoIP, video conferencing, and collaboration and data infrastructure services.

These six companies all have expertise, continue to adapt and grow. The emerging and brawny companies above create real jobs in Rhode Island.


FLOPS:

Downtown Providence: The downtown area is turning into a bit of a ghost town. While the re-opening of the Arcade will help, the businesses closing and leaving all say the same thing – not enough people work in the downtown core. Eddie and Son’s closing is the most discussed, but in recent weeks EAT and Souper Bowl closed on Weybosset. And, Picture This closed its downtown location. All gone in the past 60 days.

House Oversight Committee and 38 Studios:  The PR play by the House leadership to show that the 38 Studios debacle was being reviewed did nothing more than further frustrate the business community and Rhode Islanders that this was an inside game gone wrong.

 

 

 

 

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