Business picking up for Griffintown merchants hurt by autumn roadwork

Business is taking off again for stores in Montreal's South-West borough affected by construction on Notre-Dame street last fall.

Many business owners have noticed a dramatic increase in customer traffic since Notre-Dame street was re-opened two weeks before Christmas.

Cherry Grewal, manager at Exclucity clothing store, says having a sidewalk in front of her business is very welcome.

"The walk-by clientele has increased by 100 % because we had no sidewalk. There was a giant hole literally in front of our door, so it was bad."

Benoît Lacas, the owner of Ludovik, a furniture store which relies heavily on passing traffic for it's business, says the difference is remarkable. 

"The day that they reopened the street, we had more people come in than we had the entire week before. We figured out at that point why it had been so quiet and why we'd lost so many customers," he told CJAD.

The South-West borough recently issued a discount brochure to encourage Montrealers to visit affected retailers. Yet despite the initiative, Lacas and Grewal believe the city could have done more for merchants.

"I don't want to be negative, but [city officials] were not very helpful the way we would have appreciated," Lacas said.

"They were telling us they were penalizing workers and companies who were late or slow, and I'd say 'yes, but that money doesn't go into our pockets, it goes into the city's pockets'."

"They didn't completely ignore us, I felt like they were trying, [...] but I don't feel like much was done," Grewal concluded.

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