Economic Development

Economic Development planning is one of the many topical areas assigned to Statewide Planning . The economic development element of the State Guide Plan, Rhode Island Rising: A Plan for People, Places, and Prosperity, adopted in December 2014, serves as a guidance document for state agencies and municipalities. This plan updates the themes of past economic development elements, and lays out a vision for Rhode Island that builds on the state’s existing assets to position it for future growth and extend opportunity to all Rhode Islanders and Rhode Island businesses. The vision is supported by a series of goals and polices. It recognizes Rhode Island’s strongest existing and emerging industries as well as regulatory, marketing and financial strategies the state could consider implementing in order to achieve the vision. A standalone executive summary is also available.

During the planning process for Rhode Island Rising, Statewide Planning commissioned a baseline data analysis and assessment of the State’s economy. It hired a consultant team led by Fourth Economy to compile important data and conduct initial analysis to aid in the development of the state’s economic development plan. The firm focused on five key areas related to economic development: business climate, industry clusters, regulatory environment, financial resources, and marketing. The resulting report, Economy RI, was released in February 2013. A standalone executive summary is also available.

In addition to long-range economic development planning, Statewide Planning works closely with the U.S. Economic Development Agency (EDA)  to secure Federal financial assistance for individual projects. Among its other functions, EDA offers funding opportunities to promote job growth and regional economic development. For further information, see "Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy" (CEDS). EDA has approved Rhode Island Rising to serve as the State’s CEDS.