Several independent short north businesses owners say construction is depleting sales

Several small businesses in the Short North believe development projects is the reason why sales aren't as great as they once were. (WSYX/WTTE)

Several small businesses in the Short North believe development projects is the reason why sales aren't as great as they once were.

When you drive up and down North High Street, it's not hard to miss orange barrels and road closures due to construction. While there is excitement about growth in the city and new jobs coming to the area, independent business owners, who've been in the area for a while, have concerns.

"We are a little bit baffled as a business community how the city has approved so many major development projects to be taking place and having permitted them simultaneously. It has impacted our sales. We had a very difficult summer," said Joan Schnee, the owner of On Paper.

Onwer of Glean, Dawn McCombs, said she's tried to deal with constructions projects near her business for a while, but she said when she saw sidewalk closures that she wasn't aware of, she decided to speak up.

"All of the meters in front of my store were bagged. All of the meters across the street were bagged. There were sidewalk closure signs flanking both ends of my block," said McCombs.

McCombs said she was blindsided and decided to contact the Short North Alliance, an organization that serves property and business owners in the Short North. McCombs said she was told the person in charge of the construction project made a mistake. McCombs said she was told that bagging all the meters on both sides of the street near her business and shutting down the sidewalk wasn't approved.

"I believe that the Short North Business Alliance tried to back us up and succeeded. The second plan, which was approved, was the one that construction workers were supposed to be following," said McCombs.

McCombs said when she went to work the next day, the meters on her side the street were no longer bagged, but she said the sidewalks on her block remained closed.

McComb said she was so frustrated that she took pictures of the signs and talked to several other business owners about the problem.

"Their sales have been gutted this week as a result of this mistake. These mistakes have huge consequences," said McCombs.

When asked about the issue, city officials said the city monitors projects to make sure there aren't excess meters that are being bagged as a result of the construction work. City officials also said they make sure there aren't access issues to area businesses.

McCombs and other business owners said they are trying to continue to deal with the issues that come from several construction projects in the area.

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