Central Falls is Business Friendly!

Welcome to the City of Central Falls Business Community! If you are an existing local business, we appreciate your presence and ongoing contributions to our community, and pledge to do all that we can to help you and your business grow and prosper. For those considering starting or moving a business here, we stand ready to help you navigate everything you need to know to establish your business here.

 

What’s New

Here’s a few of the exciting developments happening in our city!

  • Broad Street 2.0 Regeneration Initiative- Central Falls, Pawtucket, and Cumberland are the recipients of an $11M DOT grant to upgrade the infrastructure of Broad Street, one of our two main commercial thoroughfares that run right through the City. Planning has just begun with work expected to begin in 2018- for more information and to participate in the process, see www.mybroadstreetri.com.
  • The Landing- we have broken ground on a planned new multi-use commercial and recreational center located on Broad Street on the Blackstone River right at the Central Falls-Cumberland line. The site will also house the future home of Blackstone Valley Tourism Council headquarters.
  • Pawtucket Central Falls Train Station- a joint planning commission has been created and planning is underway- expected opening 2020. This is big!
  • Free bi-lingual business counseling- we have established formal outreach site relationship with the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center Network- bi-lingual business counseling is available on demand- see www.risbdc.org or call 401-616-2482 for more information or to make an appointment.
  • E-permitting is here!- in August 2017 we became the latest municipality to join the statewide building and fire e-permitting platform- get started at https://centralfallsri.viewpointcloud.com/.
  • C-PACE financing mow available- we have also joined the new program offered through the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank offering a progressive no cash up-front 100% financing vehicle for business and property owners whose capital investments include an environmentally-friendly or energy efficient component. Personal guarantees are not required and participation in the program can be transferred to new owners should the business and property change hands. See https://ri-cpace.com/

The City of Central Falls offers a number of new programs, resources, incentives, and initiatives to help our local businesses, including: 

Economic Expansion Incentive Program

To recognize and reward additional investments in property, plant, and equipment, we encourage business owners to explore the tax benefits associated with this initiative, which rewards business owners with abatements on property and tangible tax.

The enabling ordinance available at http://bit.ly/2f43xM6

Rules and Regulations are available here.

Property tax abatement (based on real property investment) applications are available here.

Tangible tax abatement (based on job creation) applications are available here.

Rhode Island Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) Program

We have joined the new program offered through the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank offering a progressive no cash up-front 100% financing vehicle for business owners who invest in plant upgrades or new installations that are environmentally-friendly or energy efficient. The program has been recently further expanded to allow financing based on the ENTIRE project cost of the redevelopment. Personal guarantees are not required and participation in the program can be transferred to new owners should the business and property change hands. For more information, see https://ri-cpace.com/.

HUBZone

The Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program, administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration, fosters economic development in distressed areas by encouraging federal agencies to sign contracts with businesses located in HUBZones. All of Central Falls (zip code 02863) is a HubZone- see http://map.sba.gov/hubzone/maps/#top.

More information on the program can be found here.

Business Counseling

We have established the City of Central Falls as a formal outreach site with the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center Network (RI SBDC), who offer free, confidential, bi-lingual business advisory services, including business plan development and loan packaging. Appointments can be made on demand- See www.risbdc.org  or call 401-616-2482 for more information or to make an appointment.

Financial Literacy Training

We also now offer the acclaimed FDIC Smart Money for Small Business (MSSB) financial literacy program series, taught both in Spanish and English simultaneously. One of the 13 modules is offered each month on a rotating basis. To learn more, visit the FDIC MoneySmart Website

Registration for the latest class can be found at https://goo.gl/LmFEtQ.

Capital Access

We have two financial institutions physically located in Central Falls- Navigant Credit Union and Bank of America, both located on Broad Street. We also maintain relationships with a number of traditional lenders nearby who serve our community, including:

We also maintain relationships with a number of alternative lenders, most of whom are a part of Commerce RI’s Small Business Funding Assistance Program. These include:

Let us help you find the capital you need to start or grow your business!

E-permitting

Effective August 1, 2017 we joined the State of Rhode Island’s e-permitting initiative, and you will now be able to process all of your fire and building permitting needs using our new Viewpoint online platform.

Our Department of Code Enforcement manages building and fire permits, including requests for zoning determinations and inspections. Stay tuned for our business e-licensing capabilities to be rolled out in October!

Facade Improvement Program

Central Falls established a Facade Improvement Program in 2016 providing grants covering 70% of renovation costs to business and property owners on Broad and Dexter Streets for making building improvements to elevate the quality of the vertical edges of these commercial centers. Rules and Regulations are available at http://bit.ly/2gMykkg.

Applications are available at http://bit.ly/2wGPB3T.

Commerce RI Financial Programs

We work closely with RI Commerce, a state agency that offers various financial, support, and industry-specific programs for businesses. To start reviewing their menu of programs and services, see http://commerceri.com/.

Other Business Resources

Our Department of Planning and Economic Development maintains numerous partnerships, alliances, and relationships to help our business community. These include:

Chambers and Business Associations

  • Business Owners Meetings- Central Falls-based business owners (new and old) are welcome to join the bi-monthly Central Falls Business Owners Meeting hosted by Navigant Credit Union at 693 Broad Street. These gatherings feature networking, special speakers and forums of interest to the community, and usually take place on Wednesday evenings from 6-8PM.  For announcements regarding the next session, see https://www.facebook.com/pg/NavigantCreditUnion/posts/.
  • Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce- well established chamber serving Northern Rhode Island communities, including Central Falls, Pawtucket, Cumberland, Lincoln, North Smithfield, and more. See http://www.nrichamber.com/.
  • Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of RI- newly re-constituted in 2017, this group represents a coalition of Latino-owned small businesses. See http://www.rihispanicchamber.org/about-us.html.
  • Fuerza Laboral /POWER Network- grass roots organization leading the way in establishing workers’ cooperatives in Rhode Island. See https://www.fuerza-laboral.org/about.  

 

Other Business Resources and Alliances

 

Community Partners

 

Education/Creative

 

Financial Literacy Resources

In addition to the financial literacy series offered by the City of Central Falls Office of PED, here are other resources who offer training and special programs focusing on financial self-sufficiency, housing, home ownership, and credit-building, and other needs:

 

Training and Workforce Development

 

Official Meetings Schedule (held at City Hall, Council Chambers, 580 Broad Street, Central Falls, RI 02863)

 


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