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

Facing Transportation Challenges: Rhode Island Small Business Owners Call for More Support from Government and Financial Institutions

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, members of the House Committee on Small Business discussed key issues facing small businesses in Rhode Island, with a focus on transportation challenges such as those posed by the Washington Bridge. Owners like Bob Burke, who owns Pot au Feu in Providence, spoke out about how declining sales due to traffic congestion have affected their businesses. Burke shared that sales at his restaurant have decreased by 30-50% on busy Friday nights, forcing him to reduce his employees’ work hours and make difficult decisions about staffing and scheduling.

As a result of these challenges, Pot au Feu has had to adapt its operations and find new ways to attract customers despite travel difficulties caused by the Washington Bridge. This is just one example of how small businesses in Rhode Island are facing tough times due to transportation issues, and it highlights the need for increased support from both government officials and financial institutions like the Small Business Administration.

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