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Rhode Island Biz Winners and Flops

Monday, January 28, 2013



> Housing Market: The Rhode Island residential housing market is aways one of the key sectors to the state's economic performance. Crushed in the foreclosures of the 2007-2008, Rhode Island's real estate market is now poised. According to the Federal Reserves Beige Book - New England and especially the Boston metro area are already starting to overheat. "...contacts across the region are generally very optimistic about the strength of the housing market in 2013."

In Rhode Island, "Prices finally began some upward momentum this fall. Falling inventory put pressure on prices. At the end of December, Rhode Island had a six month supply of single family homes on the market so we've finally achieved a balance market. It's a great starting point for the New Year," said Victoria Doran, 2013 RIAR President. According to the Realtors, a six-month supply of homes for sale typifies a market balanced between sellers and buyers.

A flourishing market will help spark some much needed economic growth.

> RI's Budget: Rarely is a budget greeted with so much praise, but Governor Lincoln Chafee's budget may be one of the most pro-business budgets ever submitted by a Rhode Island Governor and far ahead of anything Don Carcieri or Lincoln Almond proposed.

> Town of North Kingstown: The town took three of their unneeded properties and put them on the market. 

> Smart marketing award goes to Online car insurance company Esurance which just launched in Rhode Island. The gay marriage bill had not been approved in the House by more than a few minutes when  Esurance sent out messages to the media marketing that they had a product for same sex couples, "No other car insurance company is taking the forward-leaning view that Esurance is by offering same-sex couples the same savings opportunities on car insurance as legally married couples. We are offering these savings in 30 states overall, regardless of their state’s laws regarding same-sex partnerships."

> Rhode Island Companies at CES: Four Rhode Island companies headed west and showed at CES - the show of shows for electronics. More than 150,000 attended the consumer electronic show in Las Vegas. More than 3,200 companies showed their cool gadgets. Four companies from Rhode Island showed Bad Dog ToolsG-FormION Audio,and Tetrax by Walcom USA. Tetrax is the Portsmouth, RI company designs and manufacturers auto-based gadget holders. If your tired of your GPS sliding off your dashboard, then Tetrax's products may be the solution.



> Former 38 Studios boss Jen MacLean of 38 Studios has landed as the head of business development for Cambridge, Mass.-based startup Ovuline. A company that has designed an app for those trying to get pregnant. Rhode Island is still looking to recover more than $110 million in losses.

> Speaking of Flops, the Rhode Island General Assembly can't decide if they are going to investigate the $75 million loan guarente fund (Whose loss  ballooned into $110 million) from Rhode Island to 38 Studios. Amazing, that a legislature who is suppose to play an oversight role, is unwilling to take on a serious task like investigating their own actions and tremendous financial loss. Maybe it is time for the General Assembly to appoint a special prosecutor. Give the prosecutor full investigative powers. The exisitng plans will fail to do little and won't satisfy the public's right to know or restore any confidence.

> Bio moving out of Rhode Island. Collegium Pharmaceutical Inc. left  Rhode Island for Canton, Massachusetts. The pharma company  moved its offices and lab facilities from Cumberland. “We are pleased to have completed our relocation to Massachusetts. The new analytical and development labs will facilitate the completion of the development of this important product,” said Michael Heffernan, CEO of Collegium. “It is becoming increasingly recognized that tamper-resistant, extended-release opioids play an important role in the fight against prescription pain medication abuse. Oxycodone DETERx® may offer a number of significant clinical advantages over currently marketed tamper-resistant opioids for the treatment of chronic pain.”

> Hasbro announced it is cutting 10% of its work force. Hopefully, the company's recalibration will help the RI's own toy and entertainment company grow in the long-term.




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