NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) – A business that’s been a fixture in downtown Newport for more than a century could be in danger of closing its doors for good.
Potter and Company has been selling clothing and apparel on Thames Street since it opened in 1907. The store’s owner, Chafee Emory, said her sales can no longer keep up with the high cost of rent in downtown Newport.
Emory told Eyewitness News she went into lease negotiations with her landlord and the rent increase they asked for is too much to handle. She said she has no choice, and come next April the store will likely close.
“It’s very disappointing. This store is 103 years old. When I bought it, I thought this place would survive. It’s just such a part of the community,” she said.
The shop owner said small businesses need help during the winter months when the main tourism season is over and foot traffic slows down. She hopes that telling her story will get other small business owners out there thinking of new ways to stay afloat.