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

In Rhode Island, the congressional delegation has urged the federal Small Business Administration to intensify its efforts to aid the state. The delegation made this request in a letter to the SBA, highlighting that only 10% of loan applications have been approved so far. They also requested an update on the status of the remaining loan applications and inquired about the expected approval timeline.

During a hearing at Smith Hill, members of the House Committee on Small Business listened to testimony from business owners impacted by the Washington Bridge. Bob Burke, owner of Pot au Feu in Providence, reported a significant decline in sales ranging from 30% to 50%, which he attributed to customers’ reluctance to sit in traffic in order to dine out. As a result of this drop in sales, Burke has had to reduce his employees’ work hours. For instance, one server living in Coventry spends two hours traveling to Providence on Fridays due to unpredictable traffic conditions. These challenges have directly impacted the restaurant’s operations and highlighted the need for improved infrastructure and transportation solutions in the area.

By Riley Johnson

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