CHATFIELD, Minn. (FOX 47) — A two month project expanding sidewalks, including downtown Chatfield, is now complete, but businesses in the heart of the city say it took a toll on them.
Business owners along main street in Chatfield experienced varying degrees of impact, but all say they’re glad it’s finally over.
“JW’s Silver Grille” was in the middle of the construction area and managers say the project had a huge impact on their business, while places like “Dave’s Barbershop,” on the edge of the work zone, saw minimal loss of business.
Restaurants took the hardest blow, especially ones where customers would normally be able to pull up to the storefront and walk right in.
“Jac’s Bar and Grill” owner, Jamie Arthur, says he saw an $11,000 loss when he looked at the numbers from June of 2018 and June of this year. Something he blames it on the construction.
“Yeah, I was a little surprised when I ran the numbers,” Arthur said. “At first, I thought we were doing okay, but when I ran the numbers, I realized we were losing probably an average of $400 a day in sales. We bring the people in to staff for a normal business day and then when we don’t hit that, we’re losing labor, we’re losing money and then our employees are losing tips and they’re losing money, so it affects the employees as well.”
Arthur added retail shops were hit pretty hard as well, saying he noticed a drop in the overall number of people visiting the downtown area. He said he hopes with the sidewalks reopening, business will pick back up again.