Blog

Stephen M. Maciel - Tue Dec 23, 2014 @ 08:15PM
Comments: 4
Comments: 4
Stephen M. Maciel - Thu May 01, 2014 @ 07:48PM
Comments: 4

Rhode Island First Initiative - Text and Video from Providence PechaKucha Night 4/30/2014

As the founder of the non-profit End Hunger Foundation, we’ve held countless community benefits and food drives. Yet, by many markers, we’re loosing ground. Raising taxes and fees, while cutting social services, seems to be the new norm. Well, I'd like to propose an alternative. How about generating more revenue? How about addressing the root cause of hunger and poverty, by helping local business prosper, which improves our economy, and gets folks back to work?

What I’d like to propose to you, our state government, and business community, is an initiative, that in my humble opinion, is simple, yet powerful. The intent is to float our economic boat, while we chart a better course.

The initiative is called Rhode Island First. Taken in its entirety, this is a bold plan to serve as an economic development rally point. It’s designed to both generate short-term revenue, while enriching industries for the long-term. The vision is to address the root cause of hunger and poverty, by improving the local economy. The plan is to re-focus our attention inward, to support Rhode Island businesses first.

The Rhode Island First initiative is a three-part plan of action, to enhance and connect our existing Buy Local, Made in Rhode Island, and Discover Rhode Island movements. The first of the three actions is to lobby our state government, to when possible, give purchase consideration to in-state businesses first. A minimum ten percent goal has been discussed, and I recently learned the term for this is ‘strategic sourcing’.


The second action is to then share this message with businesses, and consumers, and ask them to also shift their purchasing power, at least ten percent toward local business. If we all made a point, just one in ten times, to buy that next book at a boutique store, and dine at the corner bistro, what a difference it can make. Results from a comparable study, show that just a 10% Shift in consumer behavior, to shop and dine locally, would create $140 million in new economic activity, add 1,600 jobs, and $50 million in wages.

If state and business purchases were factored in, these results would easily triple. We would bend over backwards to attract a business to produce these numbers, and yet, we can do it instantly, by simply shifting existing budgets. I propose we all adopt a ten percent shift in our purchasing. And let me state for the record, this initiative is not anti big-box, it is decidedly, pro small-box.

The third action, in keeping with the Rhode Island First theme, is to focus on things we are first at, rather than things we’re last at. One industry were we excel, is Tourism, and its sectors of Hospitality, Culinary, Retail, Arts & Entertainment. This industry has the ability to: a) create greater demand for native products and services, b) generate revenue very quickly, c) effectively promote Rhode Island's brand and, d) most important to me - readily hire folks up from the grip of hunger & poverty.

We’re fortunate to have a number of ‘First’ to capitalize. For instance, we are the Birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution. Manufacturing may never look the same here, yet our ‘maker’ talents persist. Our emerging food production industry fits this plan like a glove.

Additionally, our claim-to-fame position, as ‘America’s First Resort’ is unmatched. Legend has it, that in 1524, the explorer Verrazzano, sailed his armada into Narragansett Bay, and wrote in his Captain’s Log: “I was as so struck by the beauty, I decided to linger a fortnight.” This was the first two-week vacation in recorded American history! Let’s utilize these ‘Firsts’ to create a stronger value proposition, relative to the regional market.

And how confident am I that this is the correct path? The state’s recent Economic Intersections study, placed tourism promotion as their first priority. It states: “Tourism has the ability to help create a resilient, sustainable Rhode Island. It recommends we “Develop a state brand, with an interpretive story… and that a cute slogan will be weakly received.” I believe we already have a strong branding statement as ‘America’s First Resort’, which is the perfect interpretive story to share.

And our current slogan of ‘Discover Beautiful Rhode Island’ works, though, I would certainly add the word ‘First’ to it. My recommendation is to take this all a step further, and envision Rhode Island as ‘America’s Host State’ - not as a cute slogan - but as an internal mind-set. This will, as the study calls for: “Define the state from others”.

I propose to our business community, that we rally our collective resources to showcase ‘Rhode Island made and grown’ products and services ten-fold. Then bring these resources forward, and apply them, to greatly enhance existing tourism council accommodation packaging.

I suggest we set an immediate goal to return to peak tourism income levels of 2007. The Rhode Island Foundation estimates, that if we had maintained these levels, we would now be benefiting from $375 million in revenue, 6,800 jobs, and a tax boon of $87 million. We have already achieved these numbers once, and with the right plan of action, we can achieve them again. We can attract more overnight, leisure travelers with what I call ‘irresistible’ vacation packaging, and then drive these tourists out to Main Street with compelling consumer offers.

To sum up what I mean by generating more revenue, helping local business prosper, and improving our economy: I propose we all adopt a 10 percent shift in our purchasing, set an immediate goal to return to peak tourism income levels of 2007, and drive much more traffic to Main Street. These collective actions will empower us to take immediate control of our economic direction.

We have test marketed some specific methods to accomplish these goals that we’d be happy to share with you. If you would like to see the Rhode Island First initiative come to fruition, contact me, and we’ll have a conversation on how together, we can be part of the solution. Thank you for your attention, and thanks in advance for your consideration.

Comments: 4
Comments: 2


As the founder of the non-profit End Hunger Foundation, we’ve held countless community benefits and food drives. Yet, by many markers, we’re loosing ground. Raising taxes and fees, while cutting social services, seems to be the new norm. I'd like to propose an alternative. How about generating more revenue? How about addressing the root cause of hunger and poverty, by helping local business prosper, which improves our economy - and subsequently gets folks back to work?

What I would like to propose to you, our state government, and business community, is an initiative to serve as a rally point, to help float our economic boat, while we navigate a better course. The initiative is called Rhode Island First. This is a simple plan to re-focus our attention inward to support Rhode Island businesses first.

The Rhode Island First initiative is a three part plan of action. The first action, is to lobby our state government, to when possible, give purchase consideration to Rhode Island businesses first. A minimum ten percent goal has been discussed with the state, and I recently learned the term for this is ‘strategic purchasing’.

The second action is to then share this message with Rhode Island businesses, and consumers, and ask them to also shift their purchasing power, at least ten percent toward local business. If we all made a point, just one out of ten times, to buy our next book at a boutique store, and dine at the corner bistro, what a difference it can make. Results from a comparable study, show that just a 10% Shift in consumer behavior, to shop and dine locally, would create 140 Million dollars in new economic activity, add 1,600 new jobs, and provide 50 million dollars in new wages. If state and business purchases were factored in, these results would easily triple. We would bend over backwards to attract a business to produce these numbers, and yet, we can do it instantly, by simply shifting existing budgets. I propose we adopt a ten percent shift in all our purchasing. And let me state for the record, Rhode Island First is not anti big-box, it is decidedly, pro small-box.

The third action, in keeping with the Rhode Island First theme, is to emphasize the things we are first at in Rhode Island, rather than the things we’re last at. One industry were we excel, is Tourism, and its sectors of Hospitality, Retail, Arts & Entertainment. This industry has the ability to: a) create greater demand for native products and services, b) generate revenue very quickly, c) effectively promote Rhode Island's brand and, d) most important to me - readily hire folks up from the grip of hunger and poverty. Rhode Island is fortunate to have a number of ‘first’ to capitalize. For the purpose of this proposal, our claim-to-fame as ‘America’s First Resort’ tops the list. Legend has it, that in 1524, the explorer Verrazzano, sailed his armada into Narragansett Bay, and wrote in his Captain’s Log: “I was as so struck by the beauty, I decided to linger a fortnight.” This was the first two week vacation in recorded American history! Together, these actions serve to enhance and connect our existing Buy Local, Made in Rhode Island, and Discover Rhode Island movements.

I’m suggesting to our business community that we rally our collective resources, to greatly enhance existing tourism council accommodation packaging. Let’s set an immediate goal to return to peak tourism income levels of 2007. The Rhode Island Foundation estimates that if we had maintained these levels, we would now be benefiting from 375 million in revenue, 6,800 jobs, and a tax boon of 87 million. We have already achieved these numbers once, with the right plan of action, we can achieve them again. We can attract more overnight leisure travelers with what I call ‘irresistible’ vacation packaging, and then drive these tourists out to Main Street with compelling consumer offers.

To sum up what I mean by generating more revenue, helping local business prosper, and improving our economy; I propose we all adopt a 10 percent shift in our purchasing, set a goal to return to 2007 tourism income levels and drive more traffic to Main Street. We have test marketed some specific methods to help accomplish these goals. If you would like to see the Rhode Island First initiative happen, simply Google my name, I should pop right up, and I’ll be happy to share details with you. Thank you for your attention, and thanks in advance for your consideration.

Comments: 2
Stephen M. Maciel - Sun Jan 04, 2009 @ 06:42AM
Comments: 8

End Hunger Foundation's Economic Vision for Rhode Island
To address the root cause of hunger and poverty by creating community wealth to make all our residents full participating partners in our future.

Rhode Island First - An Initiative to Improve RI’s Economy by Supporting RI Businesses First

In response to one aspect of the recent Fourth Economy Consulting study to create a unified economic vision and comprehensive plan of action for Rhode Island: Focus on the term ‘Economic Gardening’ to cultivate homegrown companies and local talent so as not to lose them.

To help achieve this one aspect, allow me to propose that we implement a statewide initiative to serve as a rally point called Rhode Island First (RI 1st). The intent is to improve our economy by creating greater demand for Rhode Island products and services while building a stronger value proposition relative to the regional market. This will be achieved by re-focusing our attention inward to support Rhode Island businesses first following this three point agenda.

1) A primary focus of the RI 1st initiative is to call on our state government to adopt a policy that, when possible, purchase consideration be given to RI based businesses first. (See CT & MA models @ www.naspo.org)

2) A secondary focus of the RI 1st initiative is to create greater demand for RI products and services by sharing a message that encourages all RI businesses and consumers to consider patronizing RI businesses first.

To illustrate the economic impact that a 10% shift in only consumer purchases can have, a recent study in an area of Michigan with a similar population to RI reports that just a 10% shift in consumer behavior to shop and dine locally would create $140 million in new economic activity, add 1,600 new jobs and provide $50 million in new wages (www.localfirst.com/why_local_first). A similar shift in state and business purchasing would surely produce even greater results. I propose we motivate a 10% shift in all our purchasing.

3) A third focus of the RI 1st initiative is to further capitalize on our current, past, and future Rhode Island ‘Firsts’ including:

  • RI ‘First’ in American History - e.g., Americas First Resort
  • RI ‘First’ Originated Products & Services - e.g., Birthplace of Industrial Revolution
  • RI ‘First’ Industries & Cultural Rankings - e.g., Top Food Destination
  • Building New RI ‘Firsts’

The promotional value of these Rhode Island ‘Firsts’ is limitless, e.g., expanded capitalization on our state’s exclusive claim as ‘America’s First Resort’ to further position and package RI as a year-round vacation destination. In conclusion, implementing Rhode Island First as a statewide initiative serves to enhance and unite existing ‘Buy Local RI’, ‘Made in RI’, ‘Discover RI’ movements* and helps “…cultivate homegrown companies and local talent so as not to lose them”.

Proposed by Stephen M. Maciel, President, End Hunger Foundation, Inc. -Updated 11/27/2013

EHF 501(c)(3) Non-Profit 401-368-1325, endhunger@cox.net, www.1of52.net, 175 Hazard Rd, West Greenwich, RI 02817

(To add your input, see contact information.)
Also see: http://rhodemapri.org/guest-blog-rhode-island-first/


Comments: 8
This non-profits service by Grassroots.org and Doodlekit™ Free Website Builder