Newport sailing 2009b by chensiyuan via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY -SA 2.0).

Newport and Bristol Counties, RI – Economic Development Organizational Framework & Five-Year Strategic Plan


The Greater Newport and East Bay Region—which includes Newport and Bristol Counties—has a rich history, a global brand, and is a sought-after tourist destination. With advanced defense companies like Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, R&D assets like the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and national defense installations like the Naval War College, it is also a recognized center for the military and defense industry. The area also has strong educational institutions and medical service providers. Despite its tremendous potential, population growth in the two-county region had stagnated for more than two decades and its job base continued to shrink even after the Great Recession.


A consortium of public and private sectors leaders, led by the Newport County Chamber of Commerce and the van Beuren Charitable Foundation, engaged TIP Strategies to lay the foundation for a new economic development organization. TIP was charged with developing an organizational framework and a sustainable five-year strategic plan for the proposed entity. The planning process brought together civic and government leaders from the communities of Bristol, Jamestown, Middletown, Newport, Portsmouth, and Tiverton to establish the first public–private partnership focused on economic development in the State of Rhode Island. The plan presented a shared mission and vision, along with specific actions for establishing the Greater Newport and East Bay Development Corporation (GNEBDC) and growing the region’s economy along three major areas: 1) business retention and expansion; 2) statewide economic development engagement; and 3) business recruitment.

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