For months now, much of 23rd Avenue has been blocked off, under construction.
Large construction projects like this one very often lead to much-needed street improvements, and are beneficial to the entire community in the long run.
But impacts during construction differ. Big businesses have the cash reserves to stay afloat and weather a loss of business during construction. But small, especially very small, businesses do not have that advantage, and risk going out of business.
Most of the storefront businesses being impacted by the 23rd Avenue project are very small businesses. Several of them are women-, LGBTQ-, and minority-owned.
Quality infrastructure is necessary – in this case, there is a real need to replace and maintain water mains and sewers underneath 23rd Ave. At the same time, neither working people nor small business owners want the Central District to inadvertently lose its existing small businesses, or its character, due to street-side development.
This is an appeal for everyone to remember that the storefronts along 23rd Ave. are open for business. Take a walk down the street, get a bite to eat, and support the small businesses that make the Central District so special.
For more background, check out this news report featuring many small business owners.