The Main Stream

Aug 13, 2012 12:56 PM

Streetcar construction continues to frustrate businesses

TUCSON - As the modern streetcar construction continues, businesses continue to suffer with it.

Shot in the Dark Café downtown cannot wait to reap the benefits of the streetcar. Meanwhile they are taking a hit.

"Our sales have been down about forty percent compared to the last couple of years since streetcar construction started," said co-owner Andy Harsin.

The Regional Transportation Authority has a program to help businesses downtown get through the construction trouble. Mainstreet directly assists businesses with construction information and alerts. They provide resources including contacts and workshops. One of the most important services they provide is consulting. But Shot in the Dark feels signing up is a shot in the dark.

"The money has been going to consultants that are offering help. But the help that they are offering are things like HR help, help with designs, flyers, venues that are not really specifically geared towards the issues we have been seeing caused by the street car," said Harsin.

He would like to see Mainstreet offer loans or a grant, but program coordinator Britton Dornquast says that's not possible.

"Nationally there is this misconstrued thought that the government writes checks to businesses for this kind of impact. It does not occur. It hasn't and it won't," said Dornquast.

RTA would like to work with Shot in the Dark and hopes they take advantage of the 10-million dollar budget.

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