Walkerville BIA Supports A Call To Compensate Small Businesses During Road Work

The Walkerville Business Improvement Association is supporting a call for municipalities to compensate small businesses affected by road work.

A report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business found since 2012, 41% of small businesses were affected by construction projects and nearly half reported a decline in sales.  The CFIB is calling for municipalities to help small business owners during construction.

Walkerville BIA Co-ordinator Joan Charette says the recommendation is a great idea because small businesses have a tough time competing with big box stores. She points out when there is road work in front of a business, it makes parking and pedestrian traffic more difficult which drives customers away.

"Any assistance from the city would help," says Charette. "If there is any compensation coming from the city, subsidizing incomes, I'm not quite sure how they would figure that out, the formula for it but I think it would be very helpful to get those businesses going."

When Wyandotte St. E. in the Olde Walkerville area was under construction for four-to-five months in 2014, the BIA launched the "Dig Walkerville Campaign" to encourage residents to keep shopping.   Charette says the campaign helped to minimize the impact of construction. "I highly recommend being that proactive because I think it helped," she says. " I would say to any street that is going to be ripped up like that, I would suggest if there is no BIA, I would get the business owners together to get some communications with the same kind of format that we did with the Dig Walkerville."

Charette believes the idea of compensation is worth exploring but she wonders how the formula would work for the different businesses affected by construction projects.