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

The Washington Bridge has been a pressing issue on Smith Hill, where the House Committee on Small Business heard testimony from local business owners. One such owner, Bob Burke of the popular French restaurant Pot au Feu in Providence, reported a significant decline in sales ranging from 30% to 50% on what used to be busy Friday nights. He attributed this decrease to customers’ reluctance to sit in traffic in order to dine out.

This drop in sales has forced Burke to reduce his employees’ work hours, as one server who lives in Coventry and travels two hours to Providence on Fridays due to unpredictable traffic conditions. This highlights the need for improved infrastructure and transportation solutions in the area.

In response to these challenges, Rhode Island’s congressional delegation has called on the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) to increase its efforts to assist the state. In a letter sent to the SBA, they pointed out that only 10% of loan applications submitted have been approved so far and requested an update on the status of the remaining loan applications and an estimated timeline for approval.

By Samantha Johnson

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