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Downtown construction impacting local businesses

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 5:36 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - With the holidays right around the corner, the much-needed construction on second street may cause a disruption to resident’s plans. However, after the shutdowns and slow sales due to the Covid-19 pandemic, now is a crucial time for residents to support these local businesses.

“Leading into the holiday season, this is an important time. All the struggles of the last two years it’s just..it’s frightening that one bad month for some of these mom and pop shops could have a tremendous impact,” said Kevin Hawley, the executive director of the Downtown Development Authority.

Some business are already feeling the impact of the road closure.

Staff at Donells Candies say it’s been an easy thing to notice. Construction crews are opening the road when it’s not being worked on. Last week, during the construction day,s Donells saw a significant drop in sales. Those returned over the weekend when the road was open.

“We didn’t make up what was down before, we just simply went back to the levels it should have been at,” said Mike Stepp, the CEO and owner of Donells Candies.

Stepp says their regular customers have been wonderful during this time, and they have been able to work with their customers by meeting them in different locations, but they are missing their window shoppers. The holiday season is when Donells does most their sales.

“October is when it really picks up we do about half our sales for the year in this quarter,” said Stepp.

The Downtown Development Authority is encouraging residents to make a conscious effort to go out and support these local businesses.

“And what makes Casper unique is our small businesses, downtown businesses, and how special they are,” said Hawley.

Hawley thanks the city of Casper and the construction crews for being so wonderful to work with and what they are doing for the community. The road construction is expected to be completed at the end of October.

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