BRISTOL, RI – Businesses in the Bell Tower Plaza in Bristol were told by the town to close their doors until further notice, Wednesday, after Tuesday’s snowstorm took down the roof of one of the lot’s vacant buildings.
For the owners of Hair Experts, a salon open seven days a week in the strip, the closure is a financial hit to business.
"We're losing thousands of dollars a day,” said the salon co-owner, Joe Goncalo.For Goncalo and his wife, Bella, the family-owned business is their main source of income.
"It was just a ‘wow’ factor, nobody could believe it,” Goncalo told ABC6 News Wednesday evening. "When one is affected, we're all affected because now we're all closed down until one can re-open."
Hair Experts was forced to cancel more than 30 appointments on Wednesday, costing the business thousands of dollars in revenue.The salon employs 6 staff members with an additional 3 free-lancers; all of whom paid the ultimate price, not being able to work.
"A lot of them are day to day, week to week paychecks. And even if we're closed for 2 or 3 days, that's a big impact on their lives,” said Goncalo.
The town of Bristol told businesses and ABC6 News in a release Wednesday, that the Plaza owners have contracted Trinity Engineering Group to conduct a study on all roofs in the plaza. When the findings are complete, they need to be reviewed by the Department of Building Inspections and by the towns consulting engineers, Caputo & Wick, Ltd. Only then, after safety standards are met, will tenants be allowed back inside their businesses.
"The only thing is, if we're not open next week... we're going to run into a brick wall,” said Goncalo.