Rhode Island business news: February 2022

The Block Island Times, previously owned by CCC Media, was purchased with its related publications on Monday. The terms of the sale were not disclosed.

The Times was founded in 1970 by publisher Dan Rattiner and editor Margaret Cabell Self. It had been bought by CCC Media, which is based in Connecticut, in 2016. The Block Island Times publishes four summer editions in addition to its magazines, such as Block Island Weddings and the Block Island Dining Guide. — Alexa Gagosz

Allegiant Air to fly between Warwick, R.I., and Nashville

Allegiant Air will start flying nonstop from Warwick to Nashville in the spring. The route begins April 21, with an introductory fare as low as $49 on a 186-seat Airbus 320. The route brings Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport’s nonstop count to 26. The flight will operate twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays. — Brian Amaral

La Salle Academy appoints new leader

After more than 20 years at La Salle Academy, a co-educational, Catholic college preparatory school in Providence, principal Donald Kavanagh will be stepping down. Timothy Welsh will assume the role as principal on July 1, according to school Brother Dennis Malloy.

Welsh, who is alumnus from the class of 1993 and the former vice president of advancement and development for the academy, was selected after a six-month search process. But for the last nine years, he served as the headmaster of The Cambridge Matignon School, a co-education Catholic school, serving students of the Greater Boston area. — Alexa Gagosz

State opens application pool for $12m in funding for developers to build affordable housing

Governor Dan McKee and state leaders Wednesday announced the availability of grant funding to support affordable housing projects. The funds, which came from the federal American Rescue Plan, was put into the governor’s Rhode Island Rebounds down payment proposal, which uses 10 percent of the state’s $1.13 billion allocation.

About $12 million in funding is available through a competitive funding round. McKee said nonprofits, for-profit developers, municipalities, and public housing authorities can apply. Applicants will have to demonstrate that they are ready to begin redevelopment.

A maximum of $1 million will be awarded to selected projects and at least a 30-year deed restriction enforcing affordability and income requirements will be recorded on all properties, according to the governor’s office. — Alexa Gagosz

Feb. 1, 2022

Downtown Providence office vacancy at its highest

The vacancy rate for commercial space in downtown Providence has reached 15.85 percent in the last quarter, making it the highest vacancy rate for the area since the fourth quarter of 2015, when it reached 16.9 percent, according to market figures by CBRE Inc.

To compare, the area’s office space had a 12.2 percent vacancy rate at the end of 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. — Alexa Gagosz

Digital health startup that helps those struggling with mental health, substance use expanding to R.I.

Boston-based Marigold Health, an anonymous social network where people with mental health and substance-use conditions can help support each other, is expanding to Rhode Island.

The company announced Tuesday that it received $6 million in seed funding led by KdT Ventures and Felicis Ventures. It’s all-virtual program specializes in using peers, trained individuals in recovery from substance abuse or a mental health condition, to help support others on a similar path.

In Rhode Island, Marigold will be offered to patients at Wood River Health Services starting in March. Alison Croke, Wood River’s CEO, said she believes the most effective primary care is integrated with behavioral health.

Matt Walsh, a Marigold spokesman, said more than 75 percent of its current members are on public health insurance. — Alexa Gagosz

McKee to expand use of National Guard to support hospitals with staffing

Governor Dan McKee announced Tuesday that he plans on expanding the use of the Rhode Island National Guard to support nine hospitals amid the staffing crisis.

Approximately 30 members of the Guard will be sent to state-run Eleanor Slater, Our Lady of Fatima, Kent, Landmark Medical Center, Newport, Roger Williams Medical Center, Rhode Island, South County, and Women and Infants Hospitals.

Alexa Gagosz can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @alexagagosz.

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