Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 10-15-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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2 BUSINESS OCTOBER 15-21, 2020 | VALLEY BREEZE | CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION BREEZE PHOTOS BY CHARLES LAWRENCE Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce President and CEO LIZ CATUCCI carries one of 130 outdoor heaters given to Rhode Island businesses on Friday, Oct. 9, at the Chamber's office in Lincoln. The heaters, paid for with federal dol- lars, were part of the Take It Outdoors Initiative to help businesses service their customers outdoors in the colder months ahead. SCOTT MILLARD, of Lola's Lounge in Smithfield, says the heaters are "great" and will enable him to expand his outdoor business. CUMBERLAND – The Cumberland Town Council last week completed a series of three votes to help ease the burden on local business owners during difficult times and as colder weather begins to set in. The three votes were to: • Approve a resolution from Mayor Jeff Mutter allowing indoor entertain- ment in restaurants with certain state guidelines in place. • Approve a resolution in support of demanding the state of Rhode Island to expedite, streamline acceptance, and distribute the previously approved portion of the Cares Act funds desig- nated for small businesses throughout the state and in accordance with the law for all small businesses impacted by COVID-19, including sole propri- etors with no restrictions. • And approved a resolution ratify- ing Mutter's executive order allowing restaurants to pay their licensing fees over an extended period of time, with a deadline of June 2021. On the indoor entertainment, Town Solicitor Kelley Morris Salvatore said the town was contacted by an enter- tainment licensee who said it's getting harder to do outdoor entertainment with colder weather arriving. The state's Phase 3 guidelines allow indoor entertainment under certain restric- tions, she said, including 14 feet of distance between performers and the audiences unless everyone's wearing masks and there is no singing and that there is no mingling or congregating, among others. If the state moves back to Phase 2, said Morris Salvatore, the order would be immediately terminated. The goal, she said, is to help restaurants and bars that already have entertainment licenses do they best they can in a tough situation. Morris Salvatore said Cumberland was actually being more restric- tive than the state. Enforcement of the measures will be done through regular monitoring by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and Department of Health, she said. The resolution on the CARES Act funds was initiated by businessman Ted Vecchio, who described an appli- cation process for businesses to get small grants that has "all sorts of steps" and is very convoluted. Vecchio said he agrees with Lt. Gov. Dan McKee that the state shouldn't be restricting its $50 million in funds for small business so stringently, saying that businesses are dying as they wait. Essentially, said Vecchio, he and oth- ers have found that it's nearly impos- sible to get the money, due to all the hoops needing to be jumped through, and restrictions should be removed Cumberland leaders take steps to help business By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Editor See HELP, Page 4

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