The RI Hospitality Association (RIHA) on Monday announced a partnership with the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center (RISBDC) to offer confidential, one-on-one business counseling and topical training to restaurant owners, caterers, food truck owners, and others involved in food-related businesses.

RISBDC’s newest Restaurant & Hospitality Consultant and industry veteran Maggie Longo, will work one-on-one with food entrepreneurs as they navigate the obstacles presented by COVID-19 during office hours at RIHA’s headquarters, located at 94 Sabra Street in Cranston, every Tuesday afternoon beginning April 20th. There is no cost for these services and no time limit on the sessions. To register, visit

Business owners will learn how to address a number of issues, including access to loan/grant programs; menu development or redevelopment; budget and project management; exploration of new business models, physical space layout, costing, beverage operations, and employee development. 

“Through this partnership with the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center, we’re strengthening our commitment to providing our industry with the resources needed to begin to regain the losses suffered during the pandemic,” said Dale J. Venturini, President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association in a statement. “Maggie is a well-regarded restaurant consultant who knows the ins-and-outs of the industry and will prove to be an excellent resource for those working to regain their footing as restrictions continue to be lifted and business ramps up.”

The consultations are offered in conjunction with RIHA and the RI Hospitality Education Foundation (RIHEF)’s existing workforce development/training programs, virtual meetings covering issues affecting the industry and additional resources available at

The RISBDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and hosted by the University of 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...