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PAWTUCKET â€” Mayor Donald R. Grebien has announced that the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporationâ€™s Enterprise Zone Council has re-designated the Pawtucket/Lincoln Enterprise Zone for another five years. Firms located in the enterprise zone, one of 10 in Rhode Island, are eligible to receive a maximum credit of $5,000 per enterprise zone resident employee and $2,500 for other enterprise zone employees. The new hires must be Rhode Island residents and the jobs must be classified as full-time.
Pawtucketâ€™s portion of the Enterprise Zone includes sections of the Woodlawn and Fairlawn neighborhoods. The Lincoln section of the Enterprise zone contains the Saylesville Mill complex and sections of Higginson Avenue.
â€śI am pleased that Pawtucket and Lincoln have worked with the state to renew their Enterprise Zone designation for another five years,â€ť said Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee. â€śThe success of small businesses is critically important to the economy of Rhode Island and to the condition of the state as a whole. As I continue to focus on the fiscal health of our cities and towns, it is important for communities to take advantage of helpful state services such as Enterprise Zone designation. This is a terrific opportunity for the state to partner with its municipalities to encourage job creation and economic growth,â€ť Chafee said.
Grebien said the program brings together two economic needs for one common purpose. â€śPeople need places to work and small businesses need incentives to grow and hire new employees. Ultimately, this state tax incentive program for businesses operating in blighted areas offers the prospect of increasing the overall tax base. Workers earning money spend money, and that has a ripple effect throughout our regionâ€™s economy.â€ť
Lincoln Town Administrator T. Joseph Almond said, â€śLincoln continues to support its commercial businesses by offering them as many economic development incentives as possible. The state Enterprise Zone program is a valuable program to the town, neighboring communities, and the state.â€ť
According to RIEDC Executive Director Keith Stokes, â€śThe stateâ€™s Enterprise Zones are important engines for business expansion and full-time job creation. By continuing to build on existing workforce, infrastructure, market and cultural assets within these areas, we can attract new, private investment that will accelerate economic growth and make communities even better places to work and live.â€ť
Stokes added, â€śI thank the City of Pawtucket, Town of Lincoln and all the other partners who worked with the RIEDC to re-designate the Pawtucket/Lincoln Enterprise Zone for another five years. This is an important step forward to encouraging employers to create much needed job opportunities for Rhode Island residents in these designated communities.â€ť
To gain redesignation, Pawtucketâ€™s Planning Department worked collaboratively with Lincoln Town Planner Albert V. Ranaldi Jr., Michelle Godin, vice president for New England Economic Development Services, Vincent Flood, supervising planner with the Rhode Island Division of Planning, and Victor Barros, urban manager for the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation in preparation of the cityâ€™s re-designation application request.
Grebien noted that small businesses overwhelmingly comprise the greatest percentage of businesses in Pawtucket and throughout Rhode Island. â€śTogether, it is these small businesses that provide the job opportunities so much needed by our residents. These small businesses need incentive to grow and the Stateâ€™s Enterprise Zone tax credit program is an important way to offer that kind of financial assistance.â€ť
According to the most recent job creation data, from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011, 27 Pawtucket businesses were active participants in the program. Six of those businesses were certified for 2010. State tax credits, collectively created 32 new, full-time jobs, 10 filled by Enterprise Zone residents and one business became a new member of the program.