Mayor Baldelli-Hunt Proposes Ordinance to Assist Local Restaurants

WOONSOCKET, R.I.: Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt announced a proposed ordinance to allow local restaurants to have outdoor seating. As stated by the Mayor, “Our local restaurants have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. It is imperative that we do whatever is necessary to support our restaurants as they begin reopening in response to anticipated relaxing of the Governor’s Executive Orders.”

“It is expected that as our restaurants reopen, there will be limits imposed by the State on occupancy levels”, as stated by the Mayor. Mayor Baldelli-Hunt explained that the anticipated, reduced occupancy levels will be imposed to maintain social-distancing expectations. These reduced occupancy levels will severely constrain the ability of our restaurants to achieve profitability, unless the restaurants are able to seat additional patrons outside, according to the Mayor.
The Mayor has been working closely with David Lahousse, owner of Kay’s Restaurant, in the drafting of the ordinance. Mr. Lahousse referenced the severity of the problems facing Woonsocket’s small restaurants and the need for the proposed ordinance. As stated by Mr. Lahousse, “I congratulate the Mayor on her support of this initiative and her quick response in anticipation of the relaxation of the Governor’s Executive Order.”

The Mayor is also proposing that the ordinance be amended to allow outside seating up to 10 PM, and through Columbus Day weekend. “These are challenging times that we live in, and we must do whatever is necessary to support our businesses as they resume operation and employing our residents”, as stated by the Mayor. “Failure to be proactive only enhances the potential that some of our restaurant businesses will not survive,” explained the Mayor. As stated by the Mayor, throughout the Nation, community leaders have been projecting up to a 50% failure rate among small restaurants. We must do whatever we can to prove these projections wrong in Woonsocket.

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