FOLSOM (CBS13) — Some small businesses in Folsom are struggling to stay afloat as upgrades are made to the historic part of the city. Construction has been going on since August and it’s limiting access into several nearby shops.
While business owners say in the long run the changes could help them, in the meantime they’re losing a lot of money. The signs say open during construction, but the problem is figuring out how to get inside.
“It’s so close but yet so far away,” said Folsom resident Andrew Montriel.
Fencing is shutting off entrances to a row of small businesses on Leidesdorff Street in Historic Folsom.
“It’s about a 5-minute walk if you want to park where most of our customers park,” said small business owner Matt Garrido.
Garrido owns Heckle Alehouse and Eatery and says sales have dropped about 40 percent since construction began.
“We’ve actually watched customers walk up, look at the fence and head toward the other direction,” Garrido said.
The city is upgrading the area for cyclists, widening the road and extending the Johnny Cash Bike Trail.
“Our goal is to obviously make sure that businesses are thriving,” said Taryn Grows with the Folsom Chamber of Commerce.
Grows says the chamber has worked with the businesses and the city to provide signage indicating shops are still open and to limit construction impacts the best way possible.
“Even though this may be a little bit of a headache in the interim, the ultimate goal is to expand visibility,” said Grows.
Luckily, loyal customers are willing to take the detour.
“I’ve been here before and I know it’s great and I want to get here,” said Montriel.
Customer Torin Roberts said, “I wish more people would go above and beyond the convenience factor to support small businesses here.”
Garrido says it’s the loss of walk-in traffic that’s really hurting his bottom line.
“When we get cut off like this, it’s tough for us,” said Garrido.
The Chamber of Commerce and the city were able to get part of the fencing open for better access, but it had to be closed off again for the last couple of weeks. The fence is expected to be reopened by Friday.
The construction project is scheduled to be complete in late November.