While it is never good news to hear someone is struggling, we can’t help but feel local business owners are asking too much of the City with their appeal for subsidizing during Main Street construction.
We have been reporting on the planned closures along Main Street since the beginning of April, and believe the realities of the project should come as no surprise to surrounding operations.
Is it inconvenient? You bet. Will it have an impact on the shops located in the area? Probably. But that is why businesses should have planned ahead for the disruption by being proactive with marketing, sales and other incentives to bring customers in.
Just look at the headache Calgary retail outlets along 17 Avenue are going through. Construction in that area has lasted considerably longer than the Main Street project is expected to. These businesses have had to get creative and loud to let people know they are still open. Social media has played a big role in that, as have advertising and “construction sales.”
Yes, the City of Calgary has done its part by promoting the shopping district through ads, special events and even a website. But local residents need to realize the scope of the Airdrie project is much smaller and the phased approach means road closures will only impact businesses for a few weeks at a time.
While it would be nice to dole out a parachute fund when a business struggles, that is not only an issue in feasibility, it is most definitely not the responsibility of taxpayers.