• Title

  • Announcing the 2020 Rhode Island District Director Awardee!

    Paul DeRoche
    Small Business Advocate

    Paul DeRoche You do not need to own a small business to have an impact on the small business community. Some are steadfast in their support, while creating opportunities for small businesses in more behind the scenes roles, many times without others even knowing they are there. These champions are the unsung heroes for many.  Going above and beyond for the entrepreneurs they work with, and these are the men and women that the District Director in Rhode Island, Mark S. Hayward, honors every year by awarding them the District Director Award. This year we recognize Paul DeRoche, a man who has devoted a lifetime to helping our community.

    “I’m willing to bet that most of the businesses in Rhode Island don’t how Paul DeRoche has positively impacted their ability to be successful,” said SBA District Director Mark S. Hayward. “Paul silently went about his business lobbying the Rhode Island General Assembly to create a better climate for small businesses to thrive in Rhode Island. He did so without fanfare and without recognition, and for years he was considered the ‘Dean’ of lobbyist who would fight for the interests of small business,” he added.

    Paul was not always a lobbyist, knocking on the doors of state legislators.  He began his career as one of the people he would later lobby for, a small business owner. For 15 years, Paul owned and operated Forecourt Tennis Club in Lincoln, which he would sell to take a position with the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce.  A position he would hold for the next 35 years. DeRoche credits his experience as a business owner with building his lifelong support of and advocacy for small business.

    After 35 years of service, DeRoche says his greatest professional achievement was lobbying for pro-business legislation for the Rhode Island Retail Federation.  Legislation that made it easier for those in the retail industry to operate, while cutting through the ‘red-tape’.
    Paul DeRoche and Mark S. Hayward“Paul DeRoche is a leader, role model, and inspiration to so many of us in the Rhode Island business community. He is a powerful force that never stops advocating for business. His knowledge of government and guidance on critical issues has been invaluable; there in no one more deserving of of this award!” said RISCPA President and previous recipient of the District Director Award, Melissa Travis.

    Today, DeRoche still lobbies for small businesses on a part-time basis. When you ask him “what is one piece of advice you would give to a small business owner today?” he replies, “We’re in this terrible situation right now. Because of COVID-19 the atmosphere and the way we do business has had to change. Many are going out of business, and to survive you must be able to adapt to the changes presented to you. You need to keep working and do your best to survive and thrive in the current situation because those businesses that do survive will be that much stronger for it.”

    Paul DeRoche is a leader, role model and inspiration to many in the Rhode Island business community; he is a powerful force that never stops advocating for business. His knowledge of government and guidance on critical issues has been invaluable; there is no one more deserving of this award.

    Operating a small business is never easy, and COVID-19 has only made the job more challenging. Thankfully, the small business community is a resilient one, and with advocates like Paul DeRoche on their side, small business owners can be sure that they have people willing to fight for them and that brighter days ahead.

/* AZU-560-12875 */ /* AZU-560-12875 */