Luke B Renchan on behalf of the RI Coalition of Wedding and Event Professionals

Thank you for all your support. Our Rally was a success, and much of it was because of you and getting our story heard. For the last 9 months, our industry has been experiencing shutdowns and restrictions and we are looking at another 3-6 months of it.

The rally had several guest speakers, including Lt. Governor Dan McKee. It was live streamed during the
event and the full video recap and photos are available on our website at ricwep.org/upcoming-events
On this webpage you will also find the dates of our upcoming RICWEP Member Meetings. We are lucky to have Lt. Governor Dan McKee joining our 12/17 meeting to help support our industry.
On Monday we had a meeting with Commerce, The Department of Business Regulations, and The Department of Health. We discussed both funding and reopening RI events. While the meeting is a starting point, we know there is a long road ahead.
Our presentation is available on our website at ricwep.org/read-our-plan. It discussed our request for 16% of gross sales for the Event industry since we have been on a 9 month pause and by the time this is over, we will be in a pause for at least a year if not longer. Unfortunately, we were told there are no funds available for this year. We will still try to press the Governor with any available funds left to help the people of RI; especially the event industry, who have been hit the hardest.

During our meeting, Commerce, DBR & DOH seemed like they were receptive to our ideas for our phased action plan for reopening events, safely in RI. We explored our structured phase plan and there was an emphasis on testing, introducing a Covid Safety Officer and how this can play into getting us into opening at the capacity percentile, like how restaurants, places of worship, and box stores are currently allowed to operate.

We have requested a follow-up meeting next week to discuss in more detail about our phased action
reopening plan and where we will be for events after the pause, as currently no events are allowed.
We still have not heard from the Governor about setting up a meeting with us to discuss options for our
industry. She mentioned in her press conference last week that she was very receptive to the idea and making a plan for the future. During her interview with WPRI on 12/8, she also mentioned a couple of times that there are very limited Covid relief funds available, but there are some, and if the “pause” continues throughout December she hopes to disperse more to those affected by it. We would appreciate the opportunity to work together to help our industry get back to work and if there is any funding left from the grants, that our industry be the first to receive it.

We ask that you continue to be a voice for industry as we are hanging by a string. Our coalition has grown to 800 members and our petition has been signed by 2500. We have the strength in numbers for our mission and you are our voice to keep the public informed and our industry alive and we thank you!

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