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RI’s coronavirus response having huge impact on local businesses

Business News

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) ─ New guidelines from state leaders capping events at 250 guests in response to the coronavirus are having an impact on local businesses.

John Bucci, the owner of Inside Scoop in North Kingstown, said he decided to close his icecream shop out of an abundance of caution.

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“You can only minimize risk, you can’t eliminate risk,” Bucci said. “I’ve temporarily closed, I’m trying to regroup regarding the coronavirus.”

Bucci said by closing up shop this weekend alone, he will be missing out on approximately $10,000 in sales.

He said even though he’ll lose business, he’s more concerned about what needs to get done before he can reopen again.

“I’ve got to hire more people, so it’s going to cost me more to really operate, to really ensure the safety of the customer,” Bucci explained. “It’s not all about the sales and the profit.”

So far, Bucci said he’s invested roughly $1,000 in ensuring the health and safety of his patrons. In the long term, he plans to spend thousands of dollars on hiring, point of sales and additional sanitation.

Businesses in Newport are also taking a huge hit, especially with the cancelation of the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

CEO of Discover Newport Evan Smith tells Eyewitness News the cancelation of the annual event will cost the city by the sea thousands of dollars in revenue.

General Manager of O’Brien’s Pub Kerrie Philbin said she plans to open this weekend, however, she said she’s currently operating “day-by-day.”

“It’s very uncertain,” Philbin said. “I do expect less people, but I’m hoping for the best.”

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