Downtown Halifax businesses band together to increase sales
Downtown businesses in Halifax are joining forces to fight sagging sales blamed on a major construction project in the area.
Businesses are encouraging customers to wear or share a Pylon Club pin online to received discounts at downtown stores and restaurants.
“(It’s) a way to thank our customers, and anyone who comes downtown and jumps through the construction and jumps over the pylons,” said artist Sam Shannon.
Over the last three years, construction of the Nova Centre has closed city streets, hindered traffic and hurt the bottom line for a number of local shops and restaurants.
The Wooden Monkey has seen a 25 per cent decrease in foot traffic since construction began.
“No parking, disruptions, pylons everywhere, noise, dirt,” said restaurant owner Lil MacPherson. “Just amount a month after the blasting started our sales started going down.”
The breaking point for the restaurant came Monday when the street was closed down and there were no customers for the lunch rush.
MacPherson says her business partner gave her the bad news.
“She called me – tearful. She goes, ‘Lil, there’s nobody here. There’s nobody here.’”
Business owners have been asking for the city to step in.
“From HRM, or councillors, or the mayor that it needs to happen in actions not just in words,” said gallery owner Adriana Afford.
Halifax Mayor Mike Savage says the city is taking the necessary steps to get the construction completed as quickly as possible.
“We’re looking at whatever options we can find to help alleviate in the short term, whether it’s to do something more with parking or signage,” said Savage.
MacPherson says she won’t let the pylons put them out of business.
“I’m banking on the people, not the city. I wish they would help us, but it’s the people, it’s the sales that will help us get through this.”
Construction is slated to complete in 2016.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kelly Linehan.