Enterprise Zone Credit: Does Your Company Qualify? By David C. Morganelli, Esq. and Ryan W. Sawyer, Esq.


In 1982, Rhode Island enacted legislation to incentivize certain businesses to create new jobs and grow the Ocean State economy. The “Distressed Areas Economic Revitalization Act” was originally passed to target “areas in [Rhode Island] which are characterized by substantial and persistent levels of unemployment; blighted areas; obsolete, dilapidated, and abandoned industrial and commercial structures.” Pursuant to recent rulings by the Rhode Island Enterprise Zone Council, the Port of Providence and Pawtucket/Lincoln will each retain their designation as an “Enterprise Zone” until 2017. Governor Lincoln D. Chafee and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras have both touted these designations as yet another opportunity to promote positive economic change within Rhode Island.

In addition to the zones in the Port of Providence and Pawtucket/Lincoln, there are eight designated “Enterprise Zones” in Rhode Island, each with varying terms of existence, including zones in Cranston, Central Falls, East Providence, Warren/Bristol, Providence, West Warwick, Portsmouth/Tiverton, and Woonsocket/Cumberland. As an incentive for businesses to create jobs, Rhode Island provides Enterprise Zone tax credits if...

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