Salisbury business owners speak out on construction challenges

SALISBURY, Md. – Construction blocking off much of Salisbury’s downtown plaza is still well underway. Nearby streets are also filled with traffic cones and yellow tape as crews continue to work. The construction is affecting some business owners more than others.

Some business owners have made the decision to move out of the area completely. Meanwhile, other businesses say that they’re still getting customers through the door.

“We have been doing more community centered things. We’re really focused on giving to the poor, giving to people in need. So we’ve been doing that stuff which has been good, like free marketing,” said Vicente Hernandez, owner of Olde Towne Deli on North Division Street.

At Downtown Bridal on West Main Street, owner Colleen Hazel says she’s keeping her eyes on the prize. “I know that once it’s all done it should be very beautiful but it’s just, you know, surviving the process,” she said. Hazel says she has no plans for leaving the area. “I know that they’re going to finish the east end of the plaza and then they’re going to start in our direction, so it’s going to get worse for us before it gets better,” said Hazel.

Sadly,  some business owners have decided to leave the area as a result of the constant noise and heavy vibration.

Susan Purnell, owner of Kuhn’s Jewelers, says leaving the building her family business was in for more than 160 years was bittersweet.  “A lot to move! 167 years worth of stuff! We’re still doing it actually,” she said. Purnell says the move from Downtown Plaza end of Main Street to South Salisbury Boulevard turned out to be a business booster. “It’s so much more accessible here. Our customers are telling us they love the fact that they can pull up, park, and walk right in the door. For free!” said Purnell.

Meanwhile back downtown, Hernandez says staying positive is the key to keeping business going. “Everyone’s upset but we try to flip the perspective. It’ll be over sooner than later. It’ll be amazing and beautiful and we’ll forget that it happened. Like a scar,” said Hernandez.

Categories: Business, Local News, Maryland