April 19, 2024

Commentary: Time for a "Citizen's Grant" for EP Small Business!

Council President Bob Rodericks suggests grass-roots effort to help EP business


Time for a "Citizen's Grant" to our Small Businesses

Although my call for an "emergency declaration" due to the Washington Bridge closure isn't being accepted, we in East Providence can't sit idly by. I urge all EP residents to pull together and help our local businesses. EP has many fine restaurants, pubs, etc. If we all step up and dine out once or twice every week at a local restaurant, we can help these places stay in business. Our business community is critical to the health of this city. Local restaurants employ people, buy supplies, pay taxes and contribute much to our quality of life. This is an easy and enjoyable way to help our small businesses survive. I am confident that most of us can afford to dine out once or twice every week. Some can do so more often.

Traveling within East Providence is "relatively" easy (although not always perfect) as things have improved a bit since the December 11th shocker. Mayor Bob DaSilva, our DPW Director, police department and other local officials have done a good job in dealing with the mess which was dropped in our laps. SBA loans are not the best solution, small business needs grants, not further debt. Let's give restaurants a "citizen's grant" by dining out locally as often as we can!

I also invite neighbors from the East Bay and nearby Massachusetts to join us in this effort. Those residents can enter and leave EP without the Bridge and help us get through this regional crisis. We're in this together.

While we wait for government to solve this nightmare, we as residents can directly help our businesses. Making this effort easy is the fact that these restaurants are all unique and already loved by many. Their food and service are excellent and East Providence cannot afford to lose them.  One other thought from a concerned constituent who reached out.  It may help business if we pay our bills with cash.  This would eliminate the transaction fee businesses have to pay the charge card companies/banks.  I realize many only use cards so at least try to tip your servers in cash! Bon appetit

(Pictures accompanying this commentary are representative of the many similar businesses in East Providence.  They are not meant to only single out these establishments.)


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