Photo submitted

Connect Greater Newport, the economic development division of the Newport County Chamber of Commerce, has announced they will host their first regional business walk on May 7th.

The Announcement

Community Leaders Will Show Support for the Business Community during the First Regional Business Walk

Connect Greater Newport, the economic development division of the Newport County Chamber of Commerce, will hold a regional business walk on May 7, 2019 from 9am-11:30am. The event will be in celebration of National Small Business Week,  and a way to support the local business community. This coordinated effort enables community and civic leaders to hear from local businesses, build connections and show their support.

Volunteer teams of community leaders will visit 100 businesses, asking questions and gaining insight into the inner workings of the business community. Visits are informal and will last about 15 minutes. The conversation will center around three key questions “How is business?” “What do you like about doing business in your area?” and “How can we support the business community?”

Business Walks make it possible for business owners to communicate their needs to civic and community leaders and access tools and resources to support their success. Additionally, companies will have the chance to promote their business while building working relationships with key decision makers. Business walks have proven highly effective in strengthening local economies by retaining businesses in a community and creating an environment where they can grow.

“This Connect Greater Newport initiative is an opportunity to hear directly from business leaders in the East Bay about their success stories and growth opportunities, as well as to identify needs and issues impacting their businesses. We are eager to connect local businesses with their community, civic leadership and other business professionals to engage in meaningful dialogue on ways to help local businesses succeed, foster ideas to improve business climate and understand infrastructure needs that impact economic development.” Erin Donovan- Boyle, Executive Director Newport County Chamber of Commerce.

The information gathered during the walk is used in a number of ways. Business walks track the pulse of the business community and are used to identify needed programs and services. Civic and community leaders able to better connect with businesses through face-to-face conversation and identify and remove barriers to doing business in their community. Member-driven organizations such as Industry Associations and Chambers of Commerce can tailor their services to the expressed needs of the businesses they serve. Companies with specific needs will receive follow up and one-on-one assistance.

“Business Walks are a great way for community leaders throughout the region to come together to learn about our local business community, improve the services we provide and ensure a sustainable economic climate that promotes growth in the region.” Ashley Medeiros, Business Consultant, Connect Greater Newport.

Businesses interested in having the opportunity to meet with community leaders and highlight their business should register at

About Connect Greater Newport: Connect Greater Newport is a regional economic development initiative launched by the Newport County Chamber of Commerce to serve the region’s business community. It is the first regional economic development public-private partnership in Rhode Island and comprised of seven Bristol and Newport County municipalities. Connect Greater Newport’s mission is to support the growth of the region’s existing businesses and serve as a resource to attract new companies to the region. For more information about Connect Greater Newport visit

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.