East Lansing businesses are taking a hit because of construction

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -- East Lansing's Center City District project is closing many roads and sidewalks, drastically decreasing the amount of foot traffic to businesses.

Local businesses say that they haven't seen a financial hit like this in years.

"It's acutally kind of smashed our business altogether this summer. Its affected everyone around here. This is the slowest summer we've had in three years and thats after a steady incline previous years," Danny Aybar said.

Danny Aybar is a body piercer at Ink and Needle off Abbot Road. He told News 10 he often goes days without seeing clients because of the construction.

"It's made it almost impossible to make a living this summer. Its been real tough. I think the city should have done more for us. We're here year round, and to let us die out this summer just isn't cool," he said.

Mayor Mark Meadows has been hearing the complaints and says he wants to help. Some restaurant owners even asked the city to waive their annual fees becase the hit to business.

"I think we are going to take a look at it. Probably, we won't waive fees, we might change the way that fees are assesed so that it makes less of an impact," Mayor Meadows said.

The area manager at Menna's Joint says it's been slower this summer, but he thinks the city is looking out for businesses.

"It's definitely slower. The City of East Lansing and Christman, they've done a good job trying to get their construction guys in to eat so we're holding on with that and doing well but its defintely been slower and we're feeling it a little bit," John Bursh said.

Mayor Meadows claims the construction will be worth it in the long run because it will bring more potential customers downtown.

"If you can hold on, and keep your business going in this timeframe, it will pay off in the end," he said.

This phase of constuction will be completed in late 2019.