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

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

Meanwhile, members of the House Committee on Small Business heard testimony from affected business owners at Smith Hill. Bob Burke, owner of Pot au Feu in Providence, spoke about the significant decline in sales he has experienced, ranging from 30% to 50%, due to customers’ reluctance to sit in traffic in order to dine out. This drop in sales has forced him to reduce his employees’ work hours.

Burke shared an example of one server who lives in Coventry and spends two hours traveling to Providence on Fridays due to unpredictable traffic conditions. These challenges have had a direct impact on the restaurant’s operations and highlight the need for improved infrastructure and transportation solutions in the area.

By Samantha Jones

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