With progress sometimes comes a little pain, and that is the case for businesses along a stretch of Texas 26 in Colleyville where construction cones seem more plentiful than customers. But the city has an idea to keep customers coming.
The city of Colleyville mailed out 9,000 $10 vouchers for residents to use at affected businesses along the project to widen the highway, which stretches from John McCain Road to Brown Trail.
For the past year, businesses have been trying to stay afloat as crews work.
“I don’t know of any cities that have helped their businesses along and so anything that a city does like Colleyville is doing… is helping so we appreciate it,” business owner Von Husbands said.
Husbands has owned Red Barn Bar-B-Que for almost 15 years and since construction started he’s seen a decline in customers. Husbands said when the construction barrels went up, business went down by about 20 percent overnight. In a year’s time, he saw a 35 to 40 percent discount.
Even though they were closed a few days for the holiday weekend, Red Barn had only seen two vouchers as of Wednesday. The voucher program lasts from July 1 to September 30.
The city hopes these incentives will encourage shoppers to brave the construction and spend some money at those businesses.
“I appreciate the city for all they do, but I’m concerned that it’s not going to put us all on the even playing field,” Husbands said. “The big box stores are going to get the majority.”
Husbands fears the “mom and pop” businesses will lose out because they have traditionally smaller customer volume.
The city has also offered aid to those businesses in the past; giving $1,000 grants to affected businesses to be used for advertising.
“With that money, we were able to purchase 30,000 door hangers with coupons to bring people in,” Husbands said. “10,000 from Hurst, 10,000 from North Richland Hills and 10,000 from Colleyville and it really helped.”
The $10 vouchers can be used for purchase of $20 or more at participating businesses. Even if the business does not accept the voucher, residents can present a receipt and a voucher to the city and get reimbursed.
The city will likely launch another aid initiative in the future.
“I’ve asked the Assistant City Manager if he wouldn’t mind reaching out to some of the local business owners – bringing us together with him to see if we can all come up with something that we all feel as owners would be beneficial to everyone,” Husbands said.