coronavirus in Rhode Island
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Source: The Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce, Restore Greater Newport and Connect Greater Newport. 

Restore Greater Newport is tracking COVID-19’s economic impact on the greater Newport region, to learn the needs of businesses and residents. A survey, designed to be taken monthly by local residents and business owners, will help to determine how people are participating in the local economy in the midst of the global pandemic.

“It’s important that we as a region have confidence in our operating environment so that visitors will feel more comfortable planning a trip to Newport. We need to work together to create an atmosphere where people feel safe to travel to and through the Newport region,” said Evan Smith, President & CEO of Discover Newport.

According to an SSR, LLC survey, June 2020’s lodging occupancy rates were down 54% from June 2019.

“It is essential that business owners and residents take the survey regularly so that municipalities and trade associations can prioritize recovery efforts and create plans and policies accordingly,” said Erin Donovan-Boyle, Executive Director of the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce.

Recent findings relating to unemployment, travel and lodging, and consumer and business sentiments  from the survey and other data sources are posted weekly on Restore Greater Newport’s Recovery Dashboard. According to the survey Restore Greater Newport found the following:

  • In June 2020, the unemployment rate for Newport and Bristol counties were 1.7% and 2.6% lower respectively, than the state unemployment rate of 12.1%.
  • One third of Greater Newport consumers are concerned about making major purchases including home buying and major household items.
  • One third of residents say that they are worse off financially than one year ago
  • 20% of businesses believe they will not recover from the impacts of COVID-19

Restore Greater Newport is a task force dedicated to regaining economic prosperity in our region. We are a group of private, public, and government representatives working collaboratively to minimize the economic impact of the COVID-19 economic crisis, especially for the most vulnerable businesses and workers in our community. The survey and recovery dashboard can be found at


Connect Greater Newport is a regional economic development initiative launched by the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce to serve the region’s business community. Connect Greater Newport’s mission is to support the growth of the region’s existing businesses and serve as a resource to attract new companies to the region. For more information about Connect Greater Newport visit


The Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce is one of the state’s largest business advocacy organizations, whose mission is to connect, innovate, enhance and advocate for the businesses of Greater Newport. As a trusted and reliable institution for nearly 100 years, the Greater Newport Chamber is a vibrant collective body of the greater Newport business community with nearly 1,100 members representing over 50,000 employees. We work to create valuable strategic partnerships, promote strong economic growth, diversity and prosperity to serve its members and the Greater Newport region.  

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.

He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.