Governor Dan McKee, in partnership with the RI Department of Business Regulation (DBR) and Rhode Island Commerce, today announced the launch of a new website which helps users navigate how to open a new restaurant in Rhode Island.

“Small businesses and especially restaurants are not just the backbone to our economy, but important places in our community,” said Governor Dan McKee in a statement. “We know that Rhode Island small businesses have been hit very hard during this pandemic and we hope this website will help spur more businesses, more entrepreneurship, and more jobs for our state.”

The website, https://openarestaurant.commerceri.com, provides a general overview and road map of how to navigate entrance into the restaurant industry, including guiding users through obtaining necessary local and state permits and licenses. Additionally, the website also has a section which outlines the steps on how to open a mobile food establishment or food truck.

Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rhode Island once again broke a new record of registered businesses, with more than 10,000 new businesses registered with the Secretary of State’s office last year, an 11% increase from 2019. The state has set a new record of business registrations every year since 2015.

“We created this to help entrepreneurs who enter the foodservice business, even if they didn’t know quite where to begin,” said DBR Director Liz Tanner in a statement. “This one-stop resources comes as a result of cross-collaboration throughout the state agencies and we are thankful for all of their participation and cooperation.”

The site comes as a result of partnership through many organizations and across many state and local government agencies, quasi-state agencies, and trade associations. In addition to DBR and Commerce, these agencies include: the RI Department of Health, RI Department of Environmental Management, RI Department of Labor and Training, RI Department of Transportation, RI Department of State, RI Division of Taxation, Office of the State Fire Marshal, RI Coastal Resources Management Council, the, Narragansett Bay Commission, City of Pawtucket, and the RI Hospitality Association.

For more information about programs offered through Rhode Island Commerce, please visit www.commerceri.com.

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Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and serves on the Board of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and Lucy's Hearth. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.