With mask mandate lifted, business advocates say consumer confidence has returned

RICK SIMONE, founder of the Ocean State Coalition and executive director of the Federal Hill Commerce Association, said some restaurants saw a 45% increase in reservations after the state on Feb. 9 announced that it would lift its statewide mask mandate on Feb. 11. / PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO
RICK SIMONE, founder of the Ocean State Coalition and executive director of the Federal Hill Commerce Association, said some restaurants saw a 45% increase in reservations after the state on Feb. 9 announced that it would lift its statewide mask mandate on Feb. 11. / PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO
PROVIDENCE – It did not take too long for small businesses to see consumer confidence return after Rhode Island’s statewide mask mandate for businesses expired Feb. 11. Multiple local restaurants and bars within Providence, including Murphy’s Deli & Bar and Trinity Brewhouse on Fountain Street, as well as the Black Sheep, Providence Coal Fired Pizza…

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