LRT delivers boost to businesses
OTTAWA -- After years of construction and multiple delays before its launch, many businesses along the LRT line say the system is now delivering a big boost in revenue.
“Week to week I would say overall about a 20 per cent increase which is huge,” said Alicia Morrison, the general manager of Big Rig at the Gloucester Centre.
The reason—the nearby Blair LRT station.
A new condo development along with better access to transit and the shops are helping to drive diners to the restaurant.
“We didn’t know why then eventually we kind of clued in that we’re up in sales like crazy but now there’s this thing over here and now it’s just been way, way up,” Morrison said.
All the construction on Queen Street meant a huge loss in business for Sokun Kong of Capital Shoe Clinic. He estimates he lost half of his customers that are slowly starting to return.
“More traffic means more business,” Kong said. “Picks up more and more now because the station is close to here.”
Not all businesses reaping rewards
Many businesses were hoping that not only would LRT bring back business that had been lost during construction and delays, but also add even more.
Nasser Abou-Eldaoule said that hasn’t been the case for his business on Queen St., Friends Coffee Co.
“Now it’s 12:30 p.m., lunch time, nobody in,” said Abou-Eldaoule.
He said the quiet could lead to tough decisions in the future.
“Still hoping but our hope, it takes too long, and we pay from our pocket. We borrow money from the banks just to survive. I don’t know if we’ll stay long or shut it down and go home.”