“All we have to do is hope”: what is the impact of the Béziers halls construction site on surrounding businesses ?

“All we have to do is hope”: what is the impact of the Béziers halls construction site on surrounding businesses ?

Les travaux des halles de Béziers ont débuté il y a près de 4 mois. Thomas Lorentz

Les travaux de rénovation des halles, place Pierre-Sémard, à Béziers, ont débuté il y a plusieurs mois maintenant. Les commerçants du pourtour souffrent-ils de ce chantier ? Témoignages.

As the start of the summer season approaches, the sun shines on the historic center of the town of Béziers. If we are preparing for lunch service, the café terraces are empty around the market halls of Béziers, giving way to the comings and goings of trucks and the noise of construction machinery. It has been almost four months since work began on this emblematic infrastructure of the city, but this renovation is not without consequences for the surrounding businesses.

"30 % fewer customers"

"At first, we were afraid of all this noise and dust", points out Nathalie, manager of the Côté Sud establishment, located in a corner of Place Pierre-Sémard. The restaurateur explains that dust, parking and truck traffic, as well as noise, are a real detriment to businesses.

Same observation for the neighboring establishment, Le Johane. "Compared to last year, this is a minimum of 30% fewer customers. I don't dare look at this month's accounts", explains with emotion Albane Merlen, manager of the café and restaurant. & ;quot;People passing by don't stop", she adds. Other traders such as those in La Petite Nice and Massilia do not share this opinion and believe they will not be impacted by the construction site.

A wait full of hope

Despite financial assistance announced by the municipality at the start of the work, those whose losses were significant remain skeptical. This compensation, based on their turnover, can be requested through a file, to be attached six months after the start of the renovation, i.e. in August.

Embarrassed or not, everyone expects a lot from these new halls. "If we do nothing, nothing happens.& nbsp;It could constitute a resurgence of activity", says Jean-Marc, boss of Massilia. For him, all this work is a necessary evil in order to energize Béziers. Marie, director of La Petite Nice, is counting on this new project. It will allow an influx of tourists which can only be positive. "There is nothing left to hope for", breathes, for her part, Albane Merlen.

Long-term hope

The opening of an attractive hub bringing together traders from both the market halls and the surrounding areas seems to be unanimously supported by the brands. However, many questions still remain. Will this long-awaited success be able to continue ? "We hope it will work. After having invested so much, the project must be a success", estimates Nathalie. "Now we have to come together to bring as many people as possible", continues Jean-Marc.

Everyone wants to be able to take advantage of these new halls and the pedestrian area that they will create. The events that will be organized by them will be a significant plus for the neighborhood. However, merchants are waiting for better communication from the City in order to organize themselves to benefit from the many upcoming events.

Case-by-case assistance

The City of Béziers is providing assistance for traders who encounter difficulties with work on the market halls. The system will allow the accountants of the owners of establishments located around the halls to compile a file presenting the turnover and margins. This file will then go before a commission made up of elected officials, members of the CCI, accountants but also representatives of public finances. The latter will decide to grant compensation to the applicant. height of the loss. "The process can take several months depending on the file", explains Charlèegrave; city center manager , dynamization & local economic development.

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