Posted by: Providence Chamber of Commerce | September 28, 2012

Betaspring Welcomes New Class of Entrepreneurs

Community leaders gathered at Betaspring’s Annual Open House last evening, to celebrate successful Betaspring graduates NuLabel Technologies, Sproutel and Splitwise; and welcome the latest crop of
companies that have been accepted for the Fall class of 2012.
The Fall class of 2012 includes: 

AutoBike
AutoBike is designing a new automatic shifting bicycle to create the smoothest, most comfortable riding experience ever. 

Crunchbutton
Imagine ordering your favorite food, paid for and delivered, with ONE CLICK.
Crunchbutton does exactly that. We curate the best food items from the best restaurants within a community, so you can order favorites online and on your phone with just one button.

Greentape
Greentape is bringing merchants additional streams of revenue through a lifestyle loyalty platform that engages and excites their customers. Using plug-and-play sensors, the Greentape app gives consumers walk-in rewards and delivers beautiful product stories to their smartphone.

HealthID Profile
HealthID Profile makes medical ID bracelets for the millions of people who need them by infusing fashion with technology. Our simple-to-use, cloud-based platform allows wearers to add, update, and sync critical information to their bracelet.

Kuratur
Kuratur takes control of the fire hose of information bombarding you on the internet every day and puts it to work. Marketers use Kuratur to see the best content and then share it with prospects and customers. 

Pennant
Pennant brings the expressive power of desktop ads to mobile devices. With Pennant’s powerful ad creation tool, ad agencies can create interactive advertisements, which are delivered via advertising networks to desktops, phones, and tablets using Pennant’s ad engine. 

Plandree
Plandree is a collaborative vacation planner that helps you discover incredible experiences and makes planning easy. Simply create an itinerary and start group planning with your friends and family.  

Rootless
Rootless is a ridesharing community that connects drivers and passengers to make sharing rides easier. By freeing people from the limitations of public transportation and the cost of driving alone, they are able to enjoy the ride that is life.  

Scholrly
Scholrly is a research search engine that makes it simple and quick to explore connections between related work and domain experts. With Scholrly, you can drill down and identify the people and papers that matter most to you. 

TennisHub
TennisHub is a social platform that makes it easy for players of all skill levels to play more tennis. Users create games and TennisHub’s powerful player matching engine finds the best partner based on a series of key attributes. TennisHub streamlines booking court time and enrolling in group events while providing tennis facilities and programs with powerful tools to attract new players, increase frequency of play and simplify their business. www.tennishub.com

TouchVu
TouchVu allows small businesses to instantly convert their Facebook business pages into websites that are fully optimized for mobile phones, tablets, and PCs.

Umbie DentalCare
Umbie DentalCare is a web-based management solution for dental practices that provides all the functionality that a modern dental practice needs while meeting the HITECH law requirements.

WorldBrain
WorldBrain takes learning beyond the classroom by making it easy for teachers and parents to travel the world with their students.  

Betaspring was founded in 2009 and has since expanded to two sessions per year resulting in their capacity to accelerate up to 40 companies annually. A total of 57 companies to date have participated in the 12 week accelerator program and have raised over $20 million in capital! 

Posted by: Providence Chamber of Commerce | September 27, 2012

#provchamber Launch Party

Join us at the #provchamber Launch Party!
Tuesday, October 2, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Location: Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, One West Exchange Street, Providence

#provchamber – the latest publication of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, published in conjunction with Rhode Island Monthly’s BrandRI – is a prominent voice for the Chamber both within our membership and outside in the greater business community. Join us as we celebrate the publication and more importantly the people and stories featured in its pages.

The event will highlight one of the state’s best success stories – Nortek Inc. and its new President and CEO Michael Clarke. Clarke will talk about his role in transforming Nortek from a portfolio company to a world class operation, by inspiring all of his employees to think big, lead and motivate.

To RSVP:

http://www.providencechamber.com/members/irmlogin.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2firmevents.aspx%3fid%3d406

or call 401-521-5000.

Posted by: Providence Chamber of Commerce | September 26, 2012

RHODE ISLAND RX CARD SELECTED AS BEST PROGRAM IN RHODE ISLAND FOR 2012

PROVIDENCE, RI – RxResource.org announced that Rhode Island Rx Card has been voted “The Best Prescription Assistance Program in Rhode Island for 2012.”  Programs were rated by industry professionals across the following categories: Program Access, Program Benefits, Customer Support, Prescription Formulator List, Drug Discounts, and Network Coverage.  Rhode Island Rx Card is a prescription drug discount program sponsored by GPCC,  launched in March 2009.  To date the card has saved Rhode Islanders over $2 million on their prescription drug costs.

About Rhode Island Rx Card
Rhode Island Rx Card is a free statewide prescription assistance program open to all residents.  There are no forms to fill out and no restrictions on membership.  Rhode Island Rx Card is currently working with numerous organizations, clinics and hospitals to help create awareness of the program.  This program was created to help uninsured and under-insured Rhode Islanders afford their prescription medications, but those with health insurance can use the program on non-covered drugs.  Both brand and generic medications are eligible for discounts ranging from 30%-75%.  Everyone living or working in Rhode Island can obtain a free card, search current drug pricing and locate participating pharmacies by visiting http://www.RIRX.com or by clicking on the RIRx button on the GPCC website homepage.  Anyone not able to obtain a card can visit any CVS/pharmacy, Walmart or other participating pharmacy in Rhode Island and ask to have their prescription processed through the Rhode Island Rx Card.  CVS/pharmacy has been named the preferred pharmacy for the program by offering this service to residents, however Rhode Island Rx Card is accepted at more than 56,000 pharmacies across the country, including all major chains.

For more information, visit the website at http://www.RIRX.com.

About Rx Resource
Rx Resource is a site designed to provide knowledge and support to individuals looking to simplify the confusing maze of discount programs and patient assistance programs that have appeared in recent years.  Rx Resource provides a wide array of information, services and expertise for those looking for healthcare relief.

For more information, visit the website at http://www.RxResource.org.

Posted by: Providence Chamber of Commerce | September 24, 2012

Pledge to Support Education in Rhode Island

 

Parents, students, administrators, citizens, policy makers, business — everyone has a role to play in education.

What can you do? Pledge your commitment to education in Rhode Isalnd at www.educationpledgeri.org

A broad coalition, including the Chamber, has joined together to launch “I Pledge,” a campaign designed to generate a positive rallying cry around education and show support for our educators and students. Funded by The Rhode Island Foundation and the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, the campaign centers on a website, educationpledgeri.org, which offers students, parents, families, teachers, administrators, elected officials, and interested citizens a menu of positive, proactive pledges from which to choose.

Rhode Island has made great progress in advancing education as a result of not only our two historic federal Race to the Top grants totaling $125 million, but also the opportunities for enhanced collaboration that these grants have made possible.

Through this unwavering commitment, we as a community are finding success. Let’s keep moving forward. Click here to see an interactive map, indicating how committed your city or town is!

Be a champion for education – make your pledge today! Visit www.educationpledgeri.org

Posted by: Providence Chamber of Commerce | September 24, 2012

Economic Census ~ Comprehensive Portrait of American Business

In November and December, more than 4 million American businesses, including 22,000 businesses in the Providence-New Bedford-Fall River metro area, will receive 2012 Economic Census forms. Responses to the questionnaire are required by law (Title 13, U.S. Code), to be returned by February 12, 2013.

Every 5 years, the Economic Census develops a comprehensive portrait of American business, from the national to the local level. Timely and accurate data are vital to promote effective public policy, which is important to GPCC and our membership.

A special Web page has been created at business.census.gov to inform our members about the Economic Census.  It also provides statistics you can use to assess and grow your business operations.

What Businesses Need to Hear…and When
Sept-Oct 2012 ~ The Economic Census has information that benefits your business, at business.census.gov
Nov-Dec 2012 ~ Watch for your form~ Coming to most businesses mid-December
January 2013 ~  Complete your form.  Your industry / community is counting on you.
February 2013 ~ Economic Census forms are due February 12.
Posted by: Providence Chamber of Commerce | September 20, 2012

Feds Promote Manufacturing Resurgence ~ Theme of New England Council Meeting

Since becoming elected in 2010 to the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman David Cicilline has focused on four specific important business growth areas: helping local manufacturers to better compete in a global marketplace; ensuring the New England states are producing a well-trained workforce; helping to improve resources for start-ups and small businesses; and strengthening the middle class economy. Congressman Cicilline was the featured speaker at The New England Council breakfast meeting yesterday at the Biltmore Hotel.

Congressman Cicilline reported on his accomplishments, which included sponsoring the “Made it in America” Act of 2011. This program directs block grant funding for specific uses:  (1) Retooling or retrofitting a small- or medium-sized manufacturer, including equipment, facilities, infrastructure, or capital; (2) Diversifying the business plan of a small- or medium-sized manufacturer to advance the production of clean energy technology products or components, energy efficient products or components, and high-technology products or components; (3) Improving the energy or process efficiency of a manufacturing facility of a small- or medium-sized manufacturer. (4) Retraining the employees of a small- or medium-sized manufacturer to provide skills necessary to operate new or advanced manufacturing equipment; (5) Training new employees of a small- or medium-sized manufacturer, including on-the-job training. (6) Providing capital and technical expertise to a small- or medium-sized manufacturer to expand the export opportunities of that manufacturer. (7) Establishing a revolving loan fund to provide loans to small- or medium-sized manufacturers to finance the costs of the above activities.

Cicilline feels Rhode Island, specifically, needs to expand efforts to regain its competitive manufacturing position in the world economy. Rhode Island lost 11,000 manufacturing jobs during the most recent economic downturn. Yet, at the same time, the cost of doing business in China is steadily growing, providing opportunity for Rhode Island manufacturers to benefit from the trend to bring production processes back to the US. The American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act recently passed the House of Representatives, requiring the President to submit to Congress a national strategy to support manufacturing. Advanced manufacturing has the potential to create 8,000 jobs with wages of approximately $80,000 in the New England region alone. Congressman Cicilline also supported the extension of the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR), a funding resource which to date has brought Rhode Island over $100 million in research dollars. He also believes that the US needs to level the playing field for manufacturers in the areas of tax and fair trade policies. He noted that Rhode Island has the most science and technology related businesses as a percentage of all businesses in New England.

The New England Council is a non-partisan alliance of businesses, academic and health institutions, and public and private organizations formed to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the New England region. Its mission is to identify and support federal public policies and articulate the voice of its membership regionally and nationally on important issues facing New England.  The Council works to foster positive working relationships between its members and key federal policy makers, including members of Congress and leaders of key federal agencies. 

Posted by: Providence Chamber of Commerce | September 19, 2012

State Review of Regulations Impacting Business Development Accelerated

Governor Chafee announced  plans to make it easier to do business in Rhode Island at the We Mean Business Expo earlier this week.  To date, Rhode Island’s small business owners must comply with 1,638 regulations –a well documented detriment to business development in the Ocean State.  In July, the General Assembly passed a law requiring all state departments and agencies to conduct a review of all regulatory activities that could be harmful to businesses over the next 4 years.  Chafee’s plan would expedite that initiative, cutting the review time in half.

To read more visit

http://www.pbn.com/Chafee-announces-accelerated-regulation-review-plan,70557

Posted by: Providence Chamber of Commerce | September 17, 2012

The Chamber Experience ~Sept 18th, add your voice to this important discussion

Chamber members are encouraged to attend this newly created forum (September 18th) designed to foster dynamic and thoughtful dialogue around statewide economic issues, member benefits and key Chamber initiatives.

During the interactive discussion, attendees will get updates on relevant issues and initiatives the Chamber is advocating and preparing for the 2013 legislative session; engage with key policy and business leaders; and exchange ideas and information on starting or growing business – all in an effort to expand our members’ network of collaboration and connections.

THE CHAMBER EXPERIENCE features presentations by:

GPCC President Laurie White

“Chamber 2013”

Highlights of the Chamber’s economic agenda and how the Chamber’s work benefits your business.

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GPCC Board Chair /Duffy & Shanley President Jon Duffy

“RI’s Small Business –Big Footprint”

As the first small business leader of the GPCC, Jon will explain why it is vital to join forces in raising RI’s small business voice.

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http://providencechamber.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/rsheridan.jpg?w=500GPCC Lobbyist and Government Affairs Specialist Kelly Sheridan

“Advocacy –Why it matters:  The Chamber is minding government while you mind your business”

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Special Guest Panelist, John Taylor, Chairman of the Twin River Board of Directors & Jobs to RI campaign

Supports Question 1 this November to bring table games to Twin River.  John will talk about this opportunity to protect & grow jobs & revenue for the state, & will answer any questions Chamber members may have.

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Seating is limited.  Sign up today at www.provchamber.com  

DISCOUNTED PARKING AT RI CONVENTION CENTER GARAGE

Posted by: Providence Chamber of Commerce | September 14, 2012

RI Business Leaders descend on Washington DC for federal initiative briefings

In its 14th year, Business Leaders Day, hosted by Senator Jack Reed in Washington, D.C., to date has engaged over 1,500 Rhode Islanders in a forum created to enlighten participants on federal government initiatives. The topics covered at this year’s event included the economy, commerce, energy, health care and foreign policy. Speakers included Jeanne Lambrew, Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy; Timothy Geithner, Secretary, US Department of Treasury; Chuck Todd, Chief White House Correspondent, NBC News; Dr. Ashton Carter, Deputy Secretary of Defense; Steven Chu, Secretary, US Department of Energy; Dr. Rebecca Blank, Acting Secretary of Commerce; US Senators Al Franken, Richard Durbin, Mike Crapo and Congressman Barney Frank. In addition, Senators Whitehouse, Congressmen Cicilline and Langevin also visited with the group.

While the majority of the hot topic issues will be considered after November’s election, Congress is poised to approve a resolution for a 6-month continuance to fund government operations, which is currently set to expire in March of 2013. Much of the conversation also centered on the so-called “fiscal cliff” or sequestration, scheduled to be enacted on December 31st, eliminating all tax cuts and trillions of dollars in government programs. A bi-partisan group of Senators and Representatives have been meeting to negotiate a compromise on this issue. One such compromise is to suspend the fiscal cliff for 6 months while paying for the suspension. There is also talk of amending the ratio of spending cuts to revenue enhancements suggesting a goal of 3 to 1, with revenue enhancements derived from reforming the tax code.

Other interesting take-a-ways from Business Leaders Day presentations include:

  • The importance of bolstering manufacturing and exportation opportunities were discussed as a vital component in our country’s economic recovery efforts. The “Back to Work Minnesota” (retrofitting buildings) Program was referenced as a successful model for job creation that requires little to no funding.
  • According to Chuck Todd, Chief Correspondent for NBC News — Ohio, Virginia and Florida are the 3 key states to watch, with Virginia being the most important, in order to determine who wins the election.
  • Senator Durbin is pushing a bipartisan bill that calls for a sales tax on internet purchases. His plan has been endorsed by Amazon.
  • On the foreign policy front, there was discussion about the need for the US to pull back troops from Europe.
Posted by: Providence Chamber of Commerce | September 13, 2012

RIRX program expands, more prescription drug savings for you and your family

The high cost of generic and brand name medications concerns many Rhode Islanders. Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Statewide Prescription Assistance Program (RIRX Free Prescription Program), designed to give Rhode Island residents access to health care savings and discounts on their medications. Utilization of RxResources.com designated “best in RI” card can provide Rhode Island families with Rx medication savings of up to 75 percent at more than 56,000 pharmacies across the country —including CVS pharmacy, Walgreens, Walmart and many more.

This program is not just for those who do not have access to prescription coverage. It also benefits residents with medication savings for prescriptions not covered by their health plan. Common non-covered drugs this program accommodates includes medications used to treat sexual wellness, depression, attention deficit disorders, smoking cessation, weight loss, blood pressure regulation and more.

RIRX guarantees the best pricing on prescriptions (card holders pay the lower discount off average wholesale price-AWP, MAC pricing, or pharmacy promotional/retail price). Some residents have experienced up to 75 percent savings on their medications, the average savings comes to roughly 30 percent. All prescriptions remain confidential when processed through this program. The discount cards are preactivated and can be printed in unlimited quantities for immediate use at rirx.com or by visiting the link on the GPCC homepage. If you have any questions, please contact Sue Stenhouse at sstenhouse@provchamber.com

Alert your neighbors! Start earning huge savings for your family today

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