Our research shows that between 2012 and 2017, 41 per cent of Canadian small businesses have been disrupted by local construction projects. Of those, 65,000 have been affected in a major way that has often resulted in the business being forced to borrow money, relocate, or close down altogether.
If your business has been, is, or will likely be impacted by construction in a major way, here are a few tips to help you deal with the situation:
- No idea where to start? Gather some evidence well in advance to anticipate upcoming construction in your neighbourhood. Cities usually publish on their website or provide their capital investment plans upon request. It is a good way to know if your street will be under construction within the next year, three years or even five years. You will then have more time to make you own decisions, including financial ones.
- You already know some details of the construction project and are worried about the negative impacts on your business? Make yourself heard! Municipalities usually hold public city council meetings once a month and taxpayers are invited to ask questions and voice their concerns.
- No time to go to city hall? We have prepared a template of a letter you can quickly send to your mayor or city councillor to share your concerns and request a follow-up.
- Optimistic? Pessimistic? Choose the realistic option and be determined! Allow more time and anticipate more problems than what has been promised for the project. The first weeks and months are not the most crucial ones: it is when the project drags on that your efforts will be required. Construction is often a marathon — you will need a lot of foresight, patience and all the other resources available (see below) to cross the finish line.
- Construction has started and you feel alone? There is strength in numbers! Talk to other impacted businesses around you to (a) generate and share solutions and (b) increase your influence on local politicians and municipal employees.
- You prefer to prevent rather than cure? Identify and nurture a friendly and close relationship with project managers or point persons, whether they work for the contractor or the municipality. This simple act could prevent many inconveniences.
- Share your concerns with us! Call a CFIB counsellor at any time at 1-888-234-2232 to know about other available solutions and obtain customized support, our send us an email with your story.
Find out more about our research and actions on the impact of construction.