things to do in newport, ri
Photo via Bowen's Wharf

A report released today cites that 92% of businesses in the Greater Newport region report stability and growth. Connect Greater Newport, the economic development division of the Newport County Chamber of Commerce, released the findings following a business walk held in May of this year.

“Business owners that I have connected with over the past year in addition to the 90 business owners involved in our Business Walk regularly express the value of our region’s unbeatable quality of life, proximity to major metropolitan areas, and generally positive business climate,” said Ashley Kuzmanko Medeiros, Director Connect Greater Newport in the announcement.

The Connect Greater Newport business walk brought community leaders to local businesses to gain a better understanding of their needs and the region’s climate. 90 business leaders were interviewed throughout seven communities in Newport and Bristol Counties. Overwhelmingly, business owners have had a positive experience running their companies in the Greater Newport region.

Challenges noted in the report include transportation and parking, local regulations and ordinances, and talent attraction. Additionally, 62% of businesses that require training reported workforce challenges compared to 20% of businesses in leisure, hospitality, and retail. In order to address these concerns, Connect Greater Newport is working with each municipality to improve communication, prioritize workforce development, and upgrade infrastructure.

“Creating this public private partnership, Connect Greater Newport, to support economic development in the region is the first step in identifying how we can continue to serve the broader community in making this a wonderful place to live and work. The business walk was an excellent example of our goals: collecting data and feedback from our existing businesses, identifying areas that are going well and where we can help to improve business climate, and acting as a resource to help business grow and expand” said Erin Donovan-Boyle, Executive Director of the Newport County Chamber of Commerce in the announcement.

“We look forward to continuing the work of supporting the local business community and working together for creative solutions to enhance opportunity in the Greater Newport region” Donovan-Boyle continued.

The Business Walk Review is available for download at