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The Boston Globe

Rhode Island

R.I. urged to focus on homegrown firms

Report says state should ease rules to spur growth

PROVIDENCE — Rhode ­Island should do more to retain and support its home-grown businesses and loosen regulatory restrictions as it seeks to revamp economic development efforts, an outside consultant hired to analyze the state economy said Wednesday.

In a report presented to Governor Lincoln Chafee, Fourth Economy Consulting of Pittsburgh urged the state to ‘‘create one voice’’ and set a clearer course for developing the state’s struggling economy. The state has lost 4.5 percent of its jobs between 2002 and 2012, and it is tied with Nevada for having the country’s highest unemployment rate, 10.2 percent.

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