UPDATED: Saskatoon business owners weigh in on dark side of road construction
Some Saskatoon business owners say they can relate to Early's
Farm and Garden Centre after the Lorne Avenue business announced it expects to
lose $1 million in sales in the two years its road was closed because of Circle
Drive South construction.
The street in front of Roses Furniture and Auction Rooms on Avenue B was blocked off for most of last year while crews dug up the sidewalk.
Owner Barrie Rose said there was at least a 50 per cent drop in customers.
"You can't close off roads all in the area here and expect people to come, they won't come," said Rose.
"If they're going to be blocking off my street, the more warning they can give me the better I can re-arrange when inventory gets in," said Pat Thompson, owner of 8th Street Books and Comics.
He doesn't like to think about how much money he lost when 8th Street and Clarence Avenue, the corner his store sits on, closed down for extensive road work a few years ago.
"That was a pretty thin business time for me. People who wanted to get here worked at it, but there was no drop-in, there was nobody driving by," said Thompson.
He said if he had been given more notice, he could have adjusted staff or even taken a holiday.
Thompson would like the City to give businesses at least two week's notice for non-emergency road work that could possibly hamper nearby stores.
Rose said he wishes the City would have given him some sort of compensation.
"I went to them and asked them if I could get one month taxes free, and they wouldn't even given me one month out of the year."
However, City Manager Murray Totland said the City has never compensated for loss of business, but does attempt to contact businesses that are affected up to two weeks in advance.
"Sometimes it's a little dicey because, until we have the contractor in place, we don't know what their exact schedule is going to be for the work on the street," said Totland.
Both business owners acknowledge that road work needs to be done, but say there also needs to be more consideration for retailers in the area.
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