Portsmouth gets back to business — this time no toll talk

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PORTSMOUTH — Last time Portsmouth hosted a Community Business Forum, Town Hall and the parking lot were packed by people who came to let Gov. Chafee know what they think of his bridge toll plan.

On Thursday, Oct. 18, there will be another such forum, this time without the governor and with no plans to talk about bridge tolls.

That first morning’s  morning’s planned topics “were highjacked by heated discussion on tolls for the new Sakonnet Bridge,” said Bill Clark, the town’s director of business development. “The tolls issue is certainly not settled, at least not in the minds of business people in this area.  Nonetheless, we still want to present to all interested parties the valuable agency contact and resource information available from State and Federal agencies.”

Expected to attend on Oct. 18 are representatives from the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, RI Department of Labor and Training, RI Small Business Development Center, Ocean State Business Development Authority and Newport County Chamber of Commerce.

They will talk about state programs and initiatives developed for providing greater access to financing and credit for small businesses, making it easier to do business by creating clear, predictable and reliable regulatory and permitting processes, and energy efficiency programs for businesses.

All area businesses or anyone interested in creating a business are invited to attend, ask questions or set up appointments.

“The tolls issue will not be part of the presentation and the governor’s office and RIDOT will not be participating,” Mr. Clark added. 

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