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Downtown Phoenix businesses impacted by light rail construction

Businesses in downtown Phoenix are feeling the negative impact of the light rail construction and wish more was done to help them.
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 8:37 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour on Jefferson Street and Central Avenue in the heart of downtown Phoenix is home to crafty cocktails and a warm ambiance. But on the outside, the popular spot is surrounded by street construction. The owner, Ross Simon, tells Arizona’s Family that construction is hurting businesses in the area. “As far as guests trying to get directional for them to find us, it is a lot tougher. Parking is a challenge and always was. Now it is even worse,” said Simon.

The city is extending the light rail to south Phoenix and building a downtown hub to create a two-line system. A spokesperson said that construction along Jefferson Street should ease up next month but the downtown project won’t be complete until the end of the year. “It is pretty catastrophic. Basically, we went through the whole year of COVID-19, we closed down, were ahead of the curve, did everything right. When we reopened, that is when the construction started,” said Simon.

The city tells Arizona’s Family there is a grant program available for businesses impacted by the Phoenix light rail construction. For more information, click/tap here.

Simon said he doesn’t qualify for the grant because his business makes too much money and he has more than 15 employees. So, for now, he is asking for the community to support small businesses downtown. “All these small businesses need people to be supporting them in this very, very tough time,” said Simon.