Classes available for business owners impacted by Superior Street reconstruction project

By KBJR News 1

August 5, 2014 Updated Aug 5, 2014 at 8:55 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) -- A major overhaul of Duluth's main drag has many business owners concerned about their future.

The Superior Street reconstruction project includes replacing utilities, while also removing the iconic bricks and replacing them with more traditional pavement.

Karen Anderson has owned Peterson-Anderson Flowers for 36 years and this isn't the first time access to her business has been impacted by street construction.

"I went through this, years ago, when they put the bricks in. So this is the second time I have gone through, you know, the street being torn up," said Anderson.

City officials are planning to reconstruct Superior Street between 6th Avenue West and 4th Avenue East.

The project is planned to begin in 2016, but some business owners are already worried about the impact that work will have to their business access.

"Our main concern is obviously traffic coming in the doors and just the effect it's going to have on our customers for both pick up and even if we are going out for deliveries," said Eileen Brown, owner of "Howe Sweet it is Cakes."

Concerns like this have store owners looking ahead to find ways to keep their businesses afloat; and that's where Sandi Larson comes in.

"We start off with understanding your business. Historically, how has your business performed, how is it doing now? And what are your projections for the future?" said Larson.

The University of Minnesota Duluth's Center for Economic Development has held a couple of seminars for impacted business owners to help them adjust to the situation if their business takes a hit.

"I'm really blessed to have a lot of my orders come in through the phone or through the computer," said Anderson. "Another thing they talked about was, what if they can't get to your front door? What other ways can they get into your business that you can fix up?"

Meanwhile, Brown says one option she is considering might include opening another storefront during the street work.

"Some of our other options that we have been talking about is maybe opening a satellite location somewhere that is going to be away from the construction so people could do their pick–ups," said Brown.

City officials say the final design phase is expected to be completed by October.

The Center for Economic Development is planning to have more Seminars for business owners in October and November.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.