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Central Avenue businesses take hit during construction

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County > Reduced access is resulting in losses as high as 35 percent

By Arin McKenna

Construction for the Central Avenue Project has hit local businesses hard, and the losses are mounting. CB Fox’s sales are down 10 percent, the Manhattan Project is down 30 percent and Ruby K’s foot traffic has dropped 25 percent in July and 35 percent to date in August. Now owners are assessing plans for getting through the winter.
“I would say that the locals have been outstanding, and have supported us in droves,” said CB Fox General Manager Andy Fox.
“But the problem is that this is July and August, and when we rely very heavily on tourism. So only a small fraction of our regular tourist shoppers have been able to find us and get into our store. So we are hurting from lack of tourist traffic in our most important tourist season, July and August.”
Fox has had to reduce hours for part time employees and cut back on purchasing. He called the 10 percent drop “a ton of money. We won’t recover from that this year.”
Ruby Alexander, owner of Ruby K’s, has also had to reduce employee hours.
“It’s hurt our staff, trying to make house payments and pay bills, but I’ve had to cut hours because I was overstaffed for the number of people coming in the door,” Alexander said.


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