The Squantum Association was packed with city business owners buzzing with entrepreneurial spirit Wednesday night.
Among those owners were City Councilor William Conley Jr. and his wife, Norma, who hosted the evening of networking and business-building called, "Celebrate Doing Business in East Providence."
Special guests included General Treasurer Gina Raimondo, Senate Finance Chair Daniel Daponte and House Finance Chair Helio Melo.
Conley hoped the night would function as an incubator for East Providence ventures.
"Even though I've been a business person since 1982, from the perspective of an elected official, I began to understand that we don't do a good job of understanding the needs of our business community," he said at the event. "I think it's important that we begin a dialogue with these businesses so we can identify their needs, understand what their issues are."