“The hope would be that we can continue to maintain state support consistent with past practice or, better still, increased levels of investment,” [Slater managing director Richard] Horan said. “Given the cost-effectiveness of the program … there is certainly a case to be made.”
But Keith W. Stokes, executive director of the R.I. Economic Development Corporation, says the $9 million from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative should be a major step toward Slater becoming self-sustaining. “That money [now provided annually by the state to Slater] has to go to more economic development.”
Slater currently receives $2 million dollars from the state, money well spent and an amount itself reflective of the steep funding cuts doled out by the state in 2009.
Yes, there certainly is a case to me made for the cost-effectiveness of the program. In recent years Rhode Island moved from a middling 29th to as high as 11th in 2008 in national rankings, a needed bright spot in the state’s business outlook. When we look back in a few years at where we are, will we wonder why we let Tea Party type, anti-tax gone haywire conservatism trump sound business sense?