Dear fellow local business owner:
I know from personal discussions that many local business owners are very concerned with what the impact of COVID-19 will have on their business and livelihood. Even if nobody in our community – and we certainly hope this is the case – ever contracts this coronavirus, the effort underway to contain the spread of the disease is already being felt in Newport County.
The Governor is restricting gathering to no more than 25 people, beginning today, and all restaurants, bars, and cafes have now been told to shut-down all dine-in services, leaving them with only take-out and delivery.

 That last restriction, enforceable by police, government, and health officials, is of great concern to our local business owners and their employees.
The restrictions are understandable. The main goal of these policies is to keep our health care system from becoming overwhelmed, as has already happened in places like Iran and Italy and happened early on in China. When health care systems become overwhelmed, more people die and the virus spreads faster.
At the same time, lives also depend on healthy economies. People need to work. Businesses need to remain successful.
We are looking for ways to help the local business community. We’re going to continue to ask our readers, of course, to support first and foremost our locally owned businesses.
For locally-owned restaurants, we want to hear from you if you’re offering curbside pickup or delivery. We are compiling a list here, and want to include everything that we can to help support you during this difficult time. Please email details to Include business name, hours of pickup or delivery, location, and a link to an only menu if available. We will publish the list at no charge.
Like that we’ve done with artists and musicians, we’re also open to offering our Facebook Page to any restaurant, bar, cafe, business, and service employee that wants to take over and do a Facebook Live. If you have an idea for some informational (examples: cocktail class, q&a on cooking, advice from a business), fun, or an entertaining post that will useful for our audience AND you, get in touch! If you’re interested, email

If your organization, civic group or church plans to move an event or activity from the physical world to a Facebook or YouTube live stream, let us know we’d be happy to share the link or Facebook live video on our Facebook Page/website as needed.
And let me know any ideas you have for how What’s Up Newp and What’s Up Rhode Island can help the local business community during this time.

Best wishes,

~ Ryan Belmore

Owner, What’s Up Newp and What’s Up Rhode Island

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in...