PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge O. Elorza today joined Lisa Ranglin, Founder, President & CEO of the Rhode Island Black Business Association (RIBBA), United States Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, Neil Steinberg, President and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation, Keith Stokes, Providence Director of Business and Development and community members, to announce the acquisition of an office building located at 220 Smith Street, Providence. The property will serve as RIBBA’s new headquarters as well as an Equity Business Hub.
“The purchase of these new offices is both an investment in our organization’s future and our community. The hard work and commitment of our staff, board of directors, partners, and members allowed us to make this acquisition from a position of growth and strength,” said Lisa Ranglin. “We are excited about what this means for our members and community.”
In addition to being RIBBA’s new headquarters, the 4,300-square-foot Equity Business Hub will offer co-working space and a state-of-the-art training facility for members and partners. “We see this as a great resource for local small businesses to lay down roots for success in the community,” said Lisa Ranglin.
The acquisition of the office building officially closed on Monday, October 31, 2022. RIBBA is projected to move in Spring 2023.
“As evidenced by the findings and recommendations of our Municipal Reparations Commission, we know that building wealth and equity through home and business ownership is essential for closing the racial wealth and equity gap in Providence,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “The City of Providence is proud to provide these funds to help make this new headquarters and hub possible. I know that RIBBA will advance incredible work in this space, and I thank our federal delegation and the Rhode Island Foundation for their partnership.”
The purchase was made possible through a $500,000 Congressional Directed Spending request secured by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. In addition, the City of Providence and the Rhode Island Foundation each provided $137,500 of funding to support the acquisition and expected buildout. Senator Jack Reed secured an additional $1,000,000 which will be used to expand, deepen, and strengthen RIBBA’s programming, services and outreach.
Founded in 2011, RIBBA has become an established presence and force in the Rhode Island community. RIBBA has been a firm and consistent voice advocating for equity, diversity and inclusion for all individuals.
The Rhode Island Black Business Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the business opportunities and vitality of Black-owned and minority businesses in Rhode Island through business development resources, one-on-one business counseling, certification assistance, business advocacy, mentorship, trainings, workforce development and access to capital.
To give towards the new Equity Business Hub and buildout, click here.