Providence is the capital and most populous city of Rhode Island. It was one of the first cities established in the United States.Providence was founded by Roger Williams, a religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1636.
Providence being one of the first cities in the country to industrialize, became noted for its jewelry and silverware industry. Today, the City of Providence is the home to eight hospitals and seven institutions of higher learning, which has shifted the city's economy into service industries.Services, particularly education, health care, and finance, also make up a large portion of the city's economy. Providence also is the site of a sectional center facility, a regional hub for the U.S. Postal Service. Since it is the capital of Rhode Island, Providence's economy additionally consists of government services.The convention center is connected to the Providence Place Mall, a major retail center, through a skywalk. The Port of Providence, the second largest deepwater seaport in New England.It handles cargo such as cement, chemicals, heavy machinery, petroleum, and scrap metal.Providence is home to eight hospitals, most prominently Rhode Island Hospital, the largest general acute care hospital in the state.Electricity and natural gas are supplied by National Grid.
Some of the notable business personalities include Arunah Shepherdson Abell - publisher and philanthropist, Everett M. "Busy" Arnold - comics books entrepreneur and publisher, Alan Shawn Feinstein - finance expert and philanthropist, Henry J. Steere - industrist and philanthropist.