Commerce RI Promotes Major Business Event 3 Hours After it Started
Thursday, May 01, 2014
Commerce RI (formerly RIEDC), the state funded agency to promote business growth, sent out a massive email blast to tens of thousands of businesses to promote the Providence Chamber of Commerce's biggest event of the year, "The Garage."
The only problem with the email was that it reached business' email in-box three hours after the event started.
The Garage is deemed as a Silicon Valley like event:
"This year's Garage will focus on key industries of consumer products, advanced manufacturing, innovative IT and university spin-offs. The event will feature close to 30 revenue generating companies at various stages of the corporate life cycle.
“It's all about storytelling,” said Laurie White, president of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce regarding the Garage event. “We want to showcase companies here in Rhode Island where innovation is a central strategy, where management is committed to expansion and where financing aligns with a business plan.”
Rhode Island's economy is ranked in the bottom 10 places in every major business ranking nationally. And, Rhode Island's 8.7% ranks the state as having the highest unemployment in the nation.
Melissa Czerwein, Commerce RI's spokesperson, said that Commerce RI had not released any information on the Garage event prior to today. "We've been working with the Chamber, but it's being run by the Chamber. You'd have to ask them," said Czewein of the press efforts.
The email promoting the event was sent by CommerceRI after 3 pm (EST) and the event started at 12 noon (EST).
Related Slideshow: 5 Businesses Facing Boycotts
Retail Arts and Crafts Stores
Headquarters: Oklahoma City, OK
Local Locations: Warwick, RI; Seekonk, MA; Holyoke, MA; Manchester, NH; East Haven, CT
The company is proud and public regarding its Christian orientation. Founder David Green says "its true owner is God." The national chain of 560 stores are closed Sundays.
There is currently a suit before the U.S. Supreme Court which claims that, as a "tightly held" family business with Evangelical Christian convictions, it should not have to abide by the Affordable Care Act's mandate that it provide two "objectionable" methods of contraception to its female employees.
These methods are emergency contraception (or Plan B) and various intrauterine devices, which Hobby Lobby owners consider "abortifacients."
Fast Food Restaurants
Headquarters: College Park, GA
Local Locations: Burlington, MA; Chicopee, MA, Peabody, MA; Westborough, MA (Pending); Warwick, RI (Pending)
The American fast-food chain known for ads in which cows encourage customers to eat chicken was the focus of controversy following a series of public comments made in June 2012 by chief operating officer Dan Cathy opposing same-sex marriage.
Cathy’s comments went public just after reports that Chick-fil-A's charitable endeavor, the S. Truett Cathy-family-operated WinShape Foundation, had made millions in donations to political groups that oppose LGBT rights. Activists called for protests and boycotts of the chain, while counter-protestors rallied in support by eating at the restaurants.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said he would not allow the company to open franchises in the city "unless they open up their policies.” The former Mayor also wrote a letter to Dan Cathy, stating: "We are indeed full of pride for our support of same sex marriage and our work to expand freedom for all people."
In July, 2012. Chick-fil-A released a statement in July 2012 stating, "Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena." 2014 tax filings for 2012 showed the group stopped funding all but one of the criticized organizations.
Headquarters: Houston, TX
Local Locations: 14 Rhode Island locations
Many Americans supported boycotts of the company known locally for their iconic Fenway Park sign because they equated it with boycotting Venezuela President Hugo Chávez. Citgo is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of Venezuela.
In 2006 at the United Nations, Chávez called George W. Bush the devil and claimed the U.S. president left a sulfur smell around the U.N. speakers’ podium – strong words, even in light of Bush’s declining polling numbers and popularity in America.
The Venezuelan president was famous for anti-American rhetoric. He referred to the United States as “a bad person,” “an assassin,” and “a violent invader.” He speculated about whether the United States was responsible for a spate of cancer diagnoses among Latin American leftists.
WPRO's John DePetro
AM Talk Radio
Headquarters: Providence, RI
This is not the first time Rhode Islanders have boycotted John Depetro and companies that advertise on his program. This time, however, politicians are on board.
In September, DePetro called two female labor activists whores on his WPRO morning radio show. He was fired from a radio station in Boston for calling a gubernatorial candidate a “fat lesbian.” He and WPRO are bieng sued by a WPRO employee for sexual harassment. His wife took blame for a ratings scandal in which someone from his home address faked industry reporting forms.
Labor leader Maureen Martin is the public face of For Our Daughters, the group that is trying to get DePetro off the air. She’s been joined by at least 14 high-level politicians who say they won’t spend their campaign dollars on WPRO until DePetro is off the air. This list includes Governor Lincoln Chafee, Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts, Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis, Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed, Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio, U.S. Rep. James Langevin and U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and State Republican Party Chairman Mark Smiley.
Allston DoubleTree Suites
Headquarters: McLean, VA
Workers initiated a boycott of the Harvard-owned DoubleTree Hotel in Allston last month over the process of deciding whether to join UNITE HERE! Local 26, a Massachusetts-based union that represents Harvard’s dining hall employees.
On Thursday, March 27, workers announced the boycott and asked that guests not meet, eat or sleep at the property until they receive respect and dignity at work.
More than 100 workers were joined by Harvard dining services employees, Harvard undergraduate and graduate students and hotel workers from all over the city. The workers have also found support from City Cambridge Councilors Dennis Benzan, Marc McGovern, Leland Cheung, and Nadeem Mazen.
Workers can unionize in two different ways. One involves a National Labor Relations Board election that leads to a union if 50 percent of workers vote for one. The other way, preferred by the protesting DoubleTree workers, allows workers to sign a card at any time that allows a union to be formed.
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