BURNABY (NEWS 1130) – Businesses along E. 1st Ave. in Vancouver have been dealing with construction for most of the summer. Now, some owners in Burnaby are feeling the pinch, too.
FortisBC gas line upgrades are tearing up part of the Lougheed Highway. Leanne Ma, who owns Edible Arrangements near Willingdon Ave., said there has been a noticeable decline in business at her location.
“It’s harder for customers to get to us… With the re-direction of traffic and everything, some people find it to be a little bit troublesome, so they don’t want to bother coming in.”
She has been offering half-priced delivery fees so people don’t have to come to the shop. “But for us, taking our vans out, it’s a little bit harder because of the traffic in the area.”
“This is something we have to deal with. It’s part of the business,” she added.
Last month, Cassia Bake Shop on E. 1st Ave. in Vancouver said it was forced to shut down due to construction for the gas line upgrade happening there. The store said it went from 60 customers per day down to about five. The general manager of that shop said staff felt like “collateral damage.”
When it comes to her store, Ma said she is taking a financial hit, but doesn’t give a concrete figure for losses. “We have seen business go down a bit… If someone calls in and says, ‘I want to pick up’ and we tell them there’s a little bit of construction, they’re like, ‘Oh.'”
She admitted business tends to be slower during the summer months, but said, “it’s slower than usual.”
Ma added she has spoken with Fortis. “I haven’t asked for compensation or anything, but they’ve been really good. They try to help us advertise… They’ve been pretty helpful, but I understand. Construction is construction. You’ve got to do it.”
The work along the Lougheed Highway is expected to last until mid-October.
– With files from Sonia Aslam