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‘Patience wears thin’: Councillor looking to help Winnipeg businesses impacted by construction

Summer is synonymous with road construction in Winnipeg. But now, a city councillor is looking into programs to help small businesses impacted by it.

Coun. Sherri Rollins (Fort Rouge – East Fort Garry), says she is doing research into construction mitigation grants to assist small businesses whose livelihoods are affected by ongoing construction and construction that lasts beyond the scheduled timeframe

“Many folks have some patience for that; patience wears thin when the reporting isn’t accurately done,” she said.

Rollins said the City of Toronto has similar grants available for businesses.

“These are small grants, thousands of dollars but they may be helpful if there is a long period of construction,” she said.

Rollins says she has talked with business owners in her ward and others, with some saying they’ve lost 20 per cent of their business due to construction.

“I have five biz zones in my ward, and so I’ll be bringing some of those examples to them, and others that might not be represented by biz zones that I’ve talked to and that have reached out through the summer to say this is the second construction season I’ve faced, and my business is taking a hit,” she said.

Rollins adds another crucial component is transparency from the city regarding construction timelines and increased communication efforts.

“They just want to see some timeliness, some accuracy and reporting of where there is some delays,” she said.

“Just yesterday, on South Osborne for instance, I asked the city to more accurately represent what that timeline looks like, because everyone knows it wasn’t completed at the end of August like it was supposed to,” she said.

Rollins says she hopes to speak with the director of public works about her findings.

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