RI launches campaign to help businesses affected by Washington Bridge closure

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The state of Rhode Island launched a new campaign to help businesses affected by the closure of the Washington Bridge.

This comes as traffic appears to be improving, with six lanes now operating on the bridge. However, some lawmakers question the government’s response.

This new campaign seeks to promote businesses affected by the partial closure of the Washington Bridge. They will be seen on television, social and billboards.

El Mariachi Mexican restaurant in East Providence is one of the businesses that will appear in the video.

“May they continue to support our businesses. The doors are always open,” said Aldris Flores, a worker at the Mariachi restaurant.

Aldris is a waiter and says he hopes this will help change the perception that traffic still affects the area.

“Don’t be afraid, traffic has improved a lot, almost 50 percent,” he said.

However, there are those who say that this initiative does not help businesses with the main needs that they still have.

“They still owe rent, they still owe money to their workers, they still owe money for electricity and gas,” said Rhode Island state Rep. David Morales.

Morales says businesses need more than this to recover from the nearly five months of negative impact.

“It would be more responsible for the government to directly provide support to businesses that are impacted,” he said.

He hopes this isn’t a preview of what’s to come with Gov. Dan McKee’s proposal to allocate $1.3 million to help businesses — funds that East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva is already thinking about ways to distribute.

“Make a gift card program. Give money to people in the community to go to businesses,” said DaSilva.

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