With gas restored and businesses back up and running, officials are now trying to sort out the real costs of the week-long gas outage to some 7,000 National Grid customers in Newport and Middletown.

The Rhode Island Hospitality Association, the statewide membership organization that represents the state’s hospitality businesses, is conducting a survey to determine the costs for hospitality businesses and employees.

A spokesperson for the Hospital Association said it expects results from the survey within two weeks. Many restaurants and hotels closed during the crisis.

The survey, entitled: “Aquidneck Island Gas Crisis Impact,” includes four questions:

  • Have you been impacted by the National Grid Gas Crisis? Yes or No.
  • How have you been impacted?
    • Business closed
    • Discard Inventory
    • Building Damage
    • Loss of Sales
    • Loss of Employee Wages
    • All of the Above
  • What is the value of your loss? (To calculate; compare year-over-year sales for same time period)
  • How many employees were affected and what is the estimated wage loss?

Meanwhile, the state and National Grid have taken steps to provide some relief to businesses and employees.  Unemployment benefits were made available to employees forced out of work by the crisis; the state has announced a loan program for businesses; and National Grid has established a $500,000 grant program for businesses.

For more information on the Rhode Island Hospitality Association, visit https://www.rihospitality.org/riha/index.php.

Frank Prosnitz

Frank Prosnitz brings to WhatsUpNewp several years in journalism, including 10 as editor of the Providence (RI) Business News and 14 years as a reporter and bureau manager at the Providence (RI) Journal. Prosnitz began his journalism career as a sportswriter at the Asbury Park (NJ) Press, moving to The News Tribune (Woodbridge, NJ), before joining the Providence Journal. Prosnitz hosts the Morning Show on WLBQ radio (Westerly), 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, and It’s Your Business, also on WBLQ, Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Prosnitz has twice won Best in Business Awards from the national Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), twice was named Media Advocate of the Year by the Small Business Administration, won an investigative reporter’s award from the New England Press Association, and newswriting award from the Rhode Island Press Association.