The number of businesses closed down on Manton Avenue in Providence, is just one sign of the troubled Rhode Island economy.
Community activist Leah Metts Williams says job creation should be the state's top priority.
"I would definitely like to see the General Assembly focus more on job training for our youth and unemployed adults. I believe that will stimulate the economy," said Leah Metts Williams.
At 9–point–2 percent, Rhode Island has the highest unemployment rate in the nation.
ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "Last year the big issue you was same–sex marriage. And with that now out of the way, most everyone here on Smith Hill agrees, fixing the state's economy is priority one."
Among the other ideas, cutting business regulations, that discourage new companies, and reducing or eliminating the seven-percent sales tax.
"How about we repeal or roll back many of the existing taxes and regulatory burdens and fees that are harming our economy. So, we think this should be a year of repeal or rollback," said Mike Stenhouse from the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity.
One change has already happened. On the heels of the "38 Studios" collapse, the Rhode Island EDC is now the Commerce Corporation, with more legislative oversight.
"That rebranding, while in and of itself isn't the answer, hopefully signals a fresh start. And the single most important thing that could have happened over there was to replace the personnel," said State Sen. Dawson Hodgson (R) North Kingstown.
The overall economic goal is to bring more companies and people to Rhode Island - and help those already here - to thrive.