Daytona Beach business owners claim construction cuts into profits
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Shops along Orange Avenue said they are ready for the road to reopen after both lanes closed for construction back in August. However, they said they are worried that they might not be in business by the time it's completed.
"We're not doing business right now," said Winderson Lopez-Fausto, the manager of Fausto Grocery.
Lopez said the store has lost more than 50 percent of its business since construction started.
"This week, I threw away about three cases of meat because we're not selling anything," he said.
The store is also cutting back to save money.
"The air conditioner -- we're trying to not use it anymore," said Lopez.
It's also a ghost town for Daytona Peoples Medical Supply, which has been in business for 15 years.
"We're ready to close our doors," said owner Danielle Kaeufer.
Kaeufer said since August her store has lost 80 percent of its business.
"There are some days where we don't have anyone coming through the door," she said.
Kaeufer said she called the city several times for help.
"We don't have any signage out there hardly and what we do have is very confusing," said Kaeufer.
The city said it just put up additional signage to help drivers navigate through the area of Orange Avenue closest to Nova Road and Caroline Street. City officials also talked about loans or grants for the shops but city commissioners agreed that speeding up the construction is more feasible. But shop owners said that's not good enough.
"We hope we're still in business to see the beautiful street and hopefully get more business after the street reopens," said Kaeufer.
"We're working hard, we're trying to hang in there but we need some help," said Lopez.
The city said the portion of the project was supposed to be finished by December but because of the impact that it's had on the surrounding businesses, the new deadline is Nov. 15. The city also said it created an advertising program to help bring in more money to the stores that are impacted.
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