The Rhode Island Foundation awarded Connect Greater Newport $50,000 to support regional economic development in Newport and Bristol Counties. The Foundation is the most recent investor of the initiative, joining the City of Newport, Town of Middletown, Town of Jamestown, Town of Portsmouth, Town of Warren, van Beuren Charitable Foundation and BankNewport.

This funding will play a crucial role in stabilizing the regional economy by supporting businesses to create high paying, year-round jobs for residents. Connect Greater Newport is the regional economic development division of the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce.

According to Fourth Economy Consulting’s analysis of federally supplied data, the Greater Newport region is suffering from a declining year-round population, aging workforce and missing middle housing, resulting in slow industry growth. In order to address and overcome these barriers and ensure the region is a place where families can live, work, and play, communities and local businesses must unite.

“If we continue to go down this path, our region and community will not be a place where our families can live and grow. Instead the culture will shift to be more like Cape Cod or the Outer Banks, where the population is seasonal, and the only job growth is centered around tourism. With the help and support of our investors we can work together to address barriers and create opportunities to keep our community thriving year-round,” said Ashley Medeiros, Director of Connect Greater Newport in a news release.

Connect Greater Newport’s vision aligns closely with the Rhode Island Foundation’s strategic priority of supporting economic security for all Rhode Islanders. The Foundation believes in the importance of investing in the creation of strong and supportive environments that help Rhode Islander’s start and grow businesses. By connecting business owners with resources to be successful and working together with community leaders to create business friendly supportive environments, Connect Greater Newport is developing an environment where businesses thrive, and residents have opportunities.

“This is a big undertaking and we cannot do it alone; we need the support of many to create a system of change and promote a Greater Newport as place to live, work, and play. We are grateful to the Rhode Island Foundation for their forward-thinking approach and dedication to our region,” said Erin Donovan-Boyle, Executive Director Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce in a news release.

For more information on how you can invest in Connect Greater Newport go to


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