For businesses along Main Street near downtown Airdrie, it’s likely already felt like a very long summer.
Along with decreased revenues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, downtown businesses have contended with another summer of road construction along Main Street. While the utility upgrades are important and necessary – the replacement of old water and sewer infrastructure that dates back to the 1970s – the effects of prolonged road closures in the area have had a negative impact on nearby storefronts.
People tend to stay away from construction when driving, which means many Airdronians have likely avoided downtown in recent months. Because of this, the businesses in the area have seen fewer prospective customers coming through their doors.
This is the second summer in a row that road construction has taken place on Main Street. The project was supposed to conclude last year, but rainy weather and other unforeseen issues meant the work needed to resume this spring and summer, to the dismay of many local businesses. The work is now slated to conclude by Sept. 6.
Last year, some downtown business owners went as far as voicing their concerns at an Airdrie City council meeting, where they requested some form of subsidy or financial assistance from the City. The drop in customers was not these business’ fault, they argued, but the result of external factors they had little or no control over.
Little was done to assuage those complaints last summer, outside of installing additional signage reminding people that even though the road was closed, businesses remained open.
As crews move into their last six weeks of work, it’s important we do what we can to help these Main Street businesses out. Downtown Airdrie and Towerlane Shopping Mall boast a wide variety of shops, so it should be easy to find something you need to purchase there, or an activity or product that you enjoy.
As we enter August, let's remind ourselves to support these businesses with our dollar.