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Construction brings trouble for Las Cruces businesses

By Vanessa de la Viña, vanessa@kvia.com
Published On: Mar 25 2013 11:14:42 PM CDT
Updated On: Jan 15 2014 06:48:59 PM CST

ABC-7s Vanessa de la Vina reports.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -

Businesses in central Las Cruces are struggling to keep their doors open because of construction on Alameda Boulevard.

There are more than a dozen businesses on Alameda. Many of them have seen huge drops in customers and sales.

The street is torn up and riddled with large construction vehicles. Business owners told ABC-7 many customers don't want to deal with it.

"You just have to be prepared. You don't spend any extra money which I guess hurts the rest of the economy as well," said Jim Hawman, owner of The Truck Farm.

Hawman said after construction started his sales plummeted to about $12 a day -- and that was a good day.

Hawman said sales have improved slightly since then.

"(We're making) probably around an average of $60 a day, which still won't pay the rent but its way better than $12.37," he said.

Three months since construction started, Hawman said customers who do come in are rewarded with discounts.

"For braving the construction to come in. We've had several things on sale and on special and we've advertised it and given out coupons," he said.

Hawman said his business stays afloat because he also does online sales and wholesale.

Down the street, nonprofit La Tienda De Los Ninos has seen a drop in donations. It's a big blow to the store since that's what it runs on.

"Customers are having a hard time getting to the store. They find the sign at the end of street a little intimidating," said manager Madie Zolto.

All profits from the store benefit Jardin De Los Ninos, a childcare program that offers services for homeless or nearly homeless children.

"When our funds are down they get less which is creating a problem because grant money is hard to get," Zolto said.

The city is installing new sidewalks, gutters and lights along Alameda Boulevard. Construction is expected to finish this summer.

Many of the business owners said the end result will be positive, if they manage to stay open.

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