Providence Restaurant Struggles with Washington Bridge: Owner Faces Reduced Sales and Employee Layoffs

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

In Providence, the French restaurant Pot au Feu is facing a significant challenge due to the Washington Bridge. Owner Bob Burke has shared that sales have decreased by 30-50% on busy Friday nights as customers avoid traffic to dine out. As a result, Burke has had to reduce his employees’ work hours, including one of his servers who resides in Coventry and faces a two-hour commute to Providence on Fridays.

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. Meanwhile, 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 to the SBA, they expressed concern that only 10% of loan applications have been approved thus far and requested an update on the status of the remaining applications and clarification on the expected approval timeline.

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