RI Commerce Promotes Raimondo Video; RIers Lash Out on Social Media
Friday, June 30, 2017
Rhode Island Commerce Corporation recently promoted a video by Governor Gina Raimondo in which she touted jobs and the state's economy -- and was met with a less-than-positive reception on the Facebook page of the state agency tasked with furthering business and tourism.
"4 letters. U H I P," wrote one commenter, of the social services delivery debacle in the state. "$300 million...and will never work. "
"Just more smoke and mirrors," wrote another commenter on the Raimondo video.
SLIDES: See Video Reaction Below
The Commerce Corporation on its website touts that it is "dedicated to stimulating economic growth in Rhode Island...the Commerce Corporation is in the business of business."
The public-facing Facebook page for Commerce has just over over 1,000 likes, while the Newport County Chamber has approximately 1,900; the Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce has 20,000 - and Discover Newport over 51,000.
Latest in Social Media Struggle
The nearly ten to one ratio of negative comments to positive on the Raimondo video is not the first time Commerce has faced backlash on its Facebook page.
The appearance of Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor on a recent political TV show - and posted to Facebook -- garnered similar reaction. Commerce did not respond to request for comment if they had concern as to the feedback in social media.
"To me Gina Raimondo is by far the best Governor we have had, since Bruce Sundlun! We have had far too many years just wasted by people without any clue at all, playing Governor. Gina is fair and she is working everyday trying to help," wrote one commenter.
Commerce in the Crosshairs
Created in the wake of the 38 Studios debacle, the Commerce Corporation replaced the beleaguered RI Economic Development Corporation.
Legislation approved during the 2013 General Assembly included the creation of a Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, along with an Executive Office -- as well as Secretary -- of Commerce.
Now, the prospect that millions in federal funding could be at stake has been broached, due to the impending loss of the current Economic Development Corporation's Federal Identification Numbers when the Commerce Corporation takes effect on January 1. The new iteration of the EDC is already off to a tumultuous start -- when it hasn't even begun.
See when the EDC started, key moments in the 38 Studios debacle, and the proposal -- and approval -- for a Commerce Corporation to take its place.
Fast forward to what GoLocal wrote earlier this month.
Pound for pound, the agencies that saw the biggest cuts in the fast moving FY 2018 budget contain Governor Gina Raimondo’s economic initiatives.
Combined, Commerce RI and the I-195 Commission absorbed more than $20 million in cuts in the House finance budget released this week, versus what the Governor proposed.
The cuts to the economic programs seemed to take both the Governor and Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor by surprise when they emerged this week during the negotiations.
Related Slideshow: Raimondo - Commerce Video June 2017
The following are comments posted on the Governor Raimondo video shared to the RI Commerce Corporation Facebook page as of June 28, 2017.
- RI Commerce Spends Two-Thirds of its $12M in Contracts with Out-of-State Companies
- RI Commerce Lures Vistaprint with $2.2M in Subsidies, Unaware Competitor MOO.com is RI-Based
- Commerce RI is Launching a Big Program to Boost Small Biz, Guest MINDSETTER Early
- Sasse Calls on General Assembly to Audit RI Commerce Corp
- RI Commerce Corp Seeking Proposals for New Business, Tourism Advertising Agencies
- RI Commerce’s 17 Deals: More than 70% Goes to Out-of-State Companies
- Should Rhode Island Be Investing in LA “Slumlord?” Commerce Board Member Weighs In
- RI Commerce Corp to Pay $50,000 Penalty in 38 Studios Settlement with SEC
- Commerce RI’s Pryor Calls for Review of CA Developer’s $3.6M Project
- Critics Blast RI Commerce Out-of-State Spending
- Growing Allegations About Developer that Raimondo and Commerce Just Gave $3.6M
- Chafee Says $40M for Wexford is the Wrong Priority, RI Commerce Votes for Funding
- GOP, RI Commerce, and Speaker Say Any Stadium Funding Will Have To Be Approved By RI Legislature
- GoLocalTV: Mattiello Calls on Commerce to Take a Second Look at $3.6M for CA Developer
- Top RI Entrepreneur Posner Criticizes RI Commerce’s $3.3M to eMoney
- Chippendale Calls for Halt to $3.6M in Tax Credits Awarded to Robbins from Raimondo, Commerce
- Commerce’s Pryor Announces Program Expansion, Talks 195, Superman, and PawSox
- LIVE: Gary Sase “The Money Man” Talks Trump Budget, Commerce RI, and 195
- Details Emerging About How CA Developer Robbins Got $3.6M From Commerce, Raimondo
- RI Small Business Printers Infuriated Over Commerce’s $2.2M to Vistaprint, Agency Defends Move