Two opinion editorial pieces in today’s Providence Journal Business section argue for investing in the Port of Providence and Quonset/Davisville to grow Rhode Island economy.

Keith Stokes, the Executive Director of the Newport County Chamber of Commerce, argues in his “Rhode Island needs master infrastructure plan to make future economic development possible” piece that:

. . . Investing in improving and expanding our state’s industrial zoned lands and existing industrial and corporate parks has been a state planning goal for many years, but consistently lacked adequate funding. Rhode Island already enjoys many important industrial and corporate parks that with additional capital and investment will further expand their jobs and tax revenue potential.

Examples of statewide industrial project areas that have the capacity to expand under this plan include the Tiverton Industrial Park, Bristol Industrial Park, and the West Warwick Industrial Park. We should also build upon our maritime industrial capacity by investing in the Melville Marine Trades Center in Portsmouth, Port of Providence, and Quonset West Davisville Commerce Park.

And Grafton Willey, Chairman of the Smaller Business Association of New England, argues in his “It’s time for Rhode Island to get serious about surviving and thriving in the 21st century” piece that:

We need to make productive use of our under-utilized resources such as Quonset, the Port of Providence, and Narragansett Bay

We need to avoid our tendencies to become bogged down by special interest groups and NIMBY responses. We need to accomplish things for the overall benefit of the state.

Rhode Island’s ports and working waterfronts are poised for growth, but state leaders must put in place policies that will protect and promote these tremendous resources.

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