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Small Business Owners Testify Before House Committee on Impact of Washington Bridge on Businesses


Apr 4, 2024

Rhode Island’s congressional delegation has called on the federal Small Business Administration to increase its efforts to assist the state. In a letter to the SBA, the delegation expressed concern that only 10% of loan applications have been approved thus far. They have requested an update on the status of the remaining applications and clarification on the expected approval timeline.

On Smith Hill, the Washington Bridge was a key topic of discussion for members of the House Committee on Small Business. Owners impacted by the bridge spoke out about the challenges they are facing. One such owner is Bob Burke, who owns the popular French restaurant Pot au Feu in Providence. Burke shared that sales have decreased by 30-50% on busy Friday nights due to customers avoiding traffic to dine out.

As a result of declining sales, Burke has had to reduce his employees’ work hours. He gave an example of one of his servers who resides in Coventry and faces a two-hour commute to Providence on Fridays due to unpredictable travel times. The situation has forced businesses like Pot au Feu to make difficult decisions in order to adapt to the current challenges posed by the Washington Bridge.

By editor

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