In RI, VP Harris focuses on women-owned businesses

Vice President Kamala Harris arrives at T.F. Green State Airport in Warwick May 5, 2021. Photo: @VP Twitter

By WPRO News

The Biden administration is looking at ways to subsidize child care, classifying such support as infrastructure, Vice President Kamala Harris said, in a visit to Rhode Island on Wednesday.

“It is our intention to say that no working family should pay more than seven percent of their income in child care, so you don’t have to put it on your credit card,” Harris said during a roundtable discussion with women owners of small businesses in Providence.

Harris, and her host, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, the former Rhode Island governor said the focus on women in small business is especially acute in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic that forced businesses and schools to close, causing many women to leave the workforce.

“The exodus of women from the workforce really is an emergency,” said Raimondo.

“I literally wouldn’t have a business without childcare,” said Suzanne Wernevi, the owner Luna & Stella Jewelry.

Harris arrived at T.F. Green State Airport in Warwick shortly after 11:00 A.M. as a small group of people pressed against a fence to watch Air Force Two arrive at the airport, closed to other air traffic before and after the jet’s arrival.

Harris’ motorcade traveled up I-95 toward Providence, and stopped at Books on the Square in Wayland Square, where Harris purchased several books and posed for pictures with patrons and store workers.

At Davol Square, Harris and Raimondo joined the four members of the all-Democrat Rhode Island Congressional delegation to listen to small business owners “pitch” their businesses in a session patterned on the TV show “Shark Tank”.

From there, the motorcade carrying Harris and Raimondo traveled a few blocks to the CIC co-working space for a roundtable with women business owners, who talked about the challenges they faced.

Raimondo introduced Harris at both stops.

“Being here with my dear friend, the first female Vice President of the country … this is giving me tingles. It’s incredible,” Raimondo said.