Friday, July 22, 2022
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Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza announced Thursday that his administration has launched a program to help Providence businesses. His administration has hired a Boston consulting firm — Roads Consulting Group — to conduct the program.
The firm was the highest bidder — twice as expensive as the other two bidders.
According to city documents, Rhode Island Black Business Association (RIBBA), which is located in Providence, bid $42,500.00, and Revby LLC of Boston bid $42,500.00
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Roads Consulting Group of East Boston bid $85,000.00.
The company describes itself as being founded “after recognizing businesses’ needs to strategically grow while still being profitable, productive, and technologically advanced. We work closely with business owners and entrepreneurs to address their complex business needs and improve their business objectives.”
Purpose of the Program
According to the Elorza administration, the new “program is a new technical assistance program designed to help Providence-based small businesses, especially microbusinesses with fewer than ten employees, expand their business knowledge and build their existing business. Businesses can receive assistance with loan applications, accounting and finance, graphic design, social media, marketing and human resources support, as well as other areas of business development.”
“When it comes to investing in our small business community, we know that our best investments need to be designed by the unique needs of each business owner throughout our City. That is why we are thrilled to launch a program that provides technical assistance to our smallest businesses throughout the City and can be shaped with each individual small business owner,” said Elorza. “I encourage our small business owner community to take advantage of this new program and invest in new ways to improve their business.”
Elorza’s office said in a press release, “Through a competitive request for proposals process, Roads Consulting Group was chosen to partner with the City to work directly with eligible businesses to assess their needs and provide dedicated coaching and advice based on the unique needs of each entity. This program is open to all small businesses and microenterprises in Providence, but priority will be given to microenterprises who hope to start up or expand a small business or franchise in Providence.”
But when asked why his administration was using a Boston-based firm to work with local businesses and wouldn’t it be more beneficial to keep the money in the local economy, the Elorza administration refused to respond.
This program is being funded by the City of Providence’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) federal funding.