The newspaper was founded in March 1986 by Robert C. Bergenheim, who at the time was also publisher of the Boston Business Journal, and published its first issue that May. His son, Roger C. Bergenheim, has been the paper’s publisher for much of its history.
At the time it began, Providence Business News was one of three business publications in Rhode Island, the other two being Business Fortnightly of Rhode Island and Ocean State Business, both biweekly magazines. Business Fortnightly ceased publication in June 1986, and Ocean State Business closed up shop in 1990.
In 1987, Bergenheim sold his company, P&L Publications Inc., to MCP Inc. of Minneapolis, but retained part ownership in Providence Business News. Roger Bergenheim succeeded him as publisher of the Boston paper in 1988 and for a time David C. Dunbar, an advertising executive at Providence Business News, took over as that newspaper’s publisher, before Bergenheim returned to the post.
The paper was redesigned in 2004 by Creative Circle Media Consulting of Providence, which later redesigned and now hosts the paper’s Web site.