PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The Chamber of Commerce in one of the areas of Rhode Island hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy has raised $150,000 so far to help affected businesses, and a hotel that was wiped out has announced plans to rebuild.
Lisa Konicki of the Greater Westerly-Pawcatuck Area Chamber of Commerce says its foundation gave out the first round of checks to 25 businesses in the Misquamicut Beach area last week. More will go out next month.
"I had one person break down in tears," said Konicki after delivering a check for $4,000. "We had an individual tell us it was literally going to be their mortgage payment and prevent the bank from taking their property," she told WPRO News.
She says money has come in in large and small amounts from individuals and businesses in Rhode island and elsewhere. The fundraising goal by Memorial Day is $400,000.
"We have a major fundraising event scheduled for February 23rd at the Ocean House. It's a black tie event."
Businesses can apply at the Chamber's website for assistance through the fund.
Meanwhile, the Andrea Hotel says it is partially demolishing the main building and rebuilding outdoor decks and a restaurant. It also plans to build a new hotel.