Making the Most of Road Construction

Road construction season is a sign of progress – even when it’s not your car that’s progressing down the street. It’s progress because we need improved streets to improve traffic flow and better access for people to frequent your business. Everybody knows there’s no way around road construction – the city can’t do it without some disruption.

But that doesn’t mean it has to get in the way of your business. The City’s “Seven in Eleven” project – seven initiatives geared toward helping small businesses – includes an initiative that helps businesses deal with road construction (note: The Small Business Council of Greater Spokane Incorporated gave its input to the City when the City was developing the seven initiatives).

You can view the City’s tool kit here, but here are the main pieces of advice:

  • Get informed and involved with a project early (Once construction begins, there will be weekly construction meetings, providing updates, changes, etc.)
  • Inform your customers, staff and vendors early
  • Have a good communication plan for your customers and employees
  • Plan your strategies early

Communication is huge. Communicating the upcoming construction to your employees, customers and vendors gives you credibility and lets your customers know you’re thinking of them. During the construction, it’s important to stay on message. Determine what you want your message to the public to be and make sure your employees know it.

Publically saying it’s difficult to reach your business isn’t a wise idea. If the public hears that, it won’t even bother driving down to your business. Instead, stay positive, and make the construction work for you. As is says in the Frequently Asked Questions (linked at the bottom), City Construction Management teams will work with you to maintain access to your business throughout the project. You could even partner with other businesses near you and pool your resources. A unified business “district” can only be a good thing.

If yours is a business that has a lot of deliveries, keep the time of construction in mind. Crews typically work from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. It’ll be easier for delivery vehicles to park on the street during non-construction times. The City wants to work with you, so don’t hesitate to ask if you need special arrangements.

Once the construction is over, take advantage of it! Celebrate it and show your customers your business is better for it. After all, this road construction will help all of us once it’s complete.

More resources from the City:

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