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  • Writer's pictureTuni Schartner

RI's Economic Gardener Spring update (aka, Tuni)!

Happy Spring 2023!

It’s hard to believe that it is already Spring and that Q1 is almost over! What have you been up to this Winter? What are you most excited about for Spring? I’d love to hear from you, please don’t hesitate to email so we can catch up!


Most of my November through February was spent working with a couple dozen awesome small RI based businesses building out their revenue strategies, KPIs and marketing plans for 2023. Something I’ve been doing for years with my small business clients is setting goals for the year (or 18 months/2 years/3 years) then breaking them down by quarter, then breaking down each quarter by month. I’ve found that whether it is a micro business or a larger business, this is a something that seems to work well for all. I practice K.I.S.S. whenever possible - keeping things simple, measurable and agile. I truly love what I do and the excitement of seeing business owners light up when they work ‘on’ their businesses is something that never gets old for me.

I’ve been enjoying a balance of having a few larger retainer based client projects (I love these as they allow me to go deep and truly partner with businesses to ensure growth), as well as working with over 20 small businesses in a CommerceRI funded program that Innovation Studio is managing. Some of you may remember when we built and ran the ReLAUNCH! cohort program at the end of 2020? The Innovation Studio team brought back an updated version of this program called GROW and I so enjoyed teaching the first session and continue enjoying working with many of them one-on-one. Amy Erickson did such a fantastic job curating a great group of businesses and it has been such fun working with her, and them, on this program. If you, or someone you know, owns a small business and could use some support…this program just got extended through 8/31 so PLEASE REACH OUT TO ME or AMY!


One of the things I often suggest and execute for my clients is a 3rd party conversation with their clients/customers. I decided to reach out to a some of my own clients, and colleagues that I’ve worked closely with in the past, to get their insight on my work and here are a few responses…

“Adaptability to work with both private, public, or non-profits and the ability to work with businesses with one employee or 1000 employees, creative problem solving and strategic planning are just a few things that come to mind.”


“Your relationships with ecosystem partners throughout the state.” “I mean you are just so ‘homegrown’ and know the landscape so well here. Your enthusiasm, true team and female support (not just in WORDS but in ACTIONS) — it’s all there!”


I just wrapped up one of my retainer based client projects which has freed up some time.

If you or someone you know would like to discuss how we might work together to grow a business, project or program please reach out!


One thing I’m especially excited about is spending the year celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Hive RI. Many of you know that The Hive is my blank canvas, my passion project and my constant home-base. I couldn’t be more proud of this amazing community we’ve built here at the Mill at Lafayette with The Hive remaining the nucleus of it all! As I’ve begun thinking about how we’re going to celebrate, I’ve decided that highlighting existing community members (we have over 100 professionals/businesses here at the mill) and celebrating past and present success stories is the best way to recognize the impact that this laidback, small and wonderful space has cultivated. If you have a memory or story of how The Hive has positively impacted you or your business, please do reach out - I’d love to hear from you!

If you want to check out The Hive RI or sign up for our Weekly BUZZ email, click here!


Taking the reins on homelessness with the MAE Organization

Join us on Saturday, May 6th from 5:00-8:00 for a Cocktail Party Kentucky Derby Style at the Historic Park Theater and help us raise money for this amazing organization as they continue to do such important work. *I am a proud previous MAE board member and I continue to support this work in any way I can. Register here.

We’re always busy supporting the innovation sector & small business community whether with our volunteer work mentoring through RI Hub’s VMS program, Social Enterprise Greenhouse’s programs, and Innovation Studio’s programs or working with our individual clients - we really love what we do and who we get to work with.

Please follow us on Instagram or Facebook!

And feel free to connect with us on LinkedIn or shoot us an email:

Over at The Hive RI & the Mill at Lafayette, there continues to be a real BUZZ of activity. We have a thriving business community here and have workshops and events happening all the time. If you don’t already subscribe to our ‘Weekly BUZZ email’ and would like to, check out our most recent email here then click on the ‘subscribe’ link in the upper left hand corner!

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