First struck by the pandemic COVID-19, that the merchants of the Plaza Saint-Hubert, Montreal, have headaches because of the work that drag on.
Some would say that it was inevitable, especially because the COVID has forced the shutdown of the shipyards at the peak of the pandemic.
But the difference is pretty striking, one could think of two worlds by looking at both sides of the commercial artery. The phenomenon is explained by the fact that the work was done in two phases and the first is completed.
Result: many businesses are forced to close temporarily for lack of profitability.
“Since the beginning of the work, we had received a lot of complaints. Sometimes, I ask myself the question if it has not had more than the 311,” says Mike Parent, director-general of Société de développement commercial (SDC) of the Plaza Saint-Hubert.
For the past two years, the Plaza gets a makeover at a cost of approximately$ 60 Million.
The first phase of work is completed since some time. The marquise has made its appearance; the pavers. But the second phase of the work was to be completed in the month of August. However, because of the accumulated delays, the work is spread even over a few weeks.
“The contractor has added teams, what makes you think we’re going to have a delay of about two weeks on the schedule originally planned. In fact, we try to go as quickly as possible,” says Luc Rabouin, responsible for the economic development of the City of Montreal.
Except that for many traders, this is a hard blow to take.
At 14: 30 Saturday, Suzanne Ohana, owner of The Bride Suzanne Couture, does not account for a single client. She hopes not to have to put the key under the door.
“I don’t want to close because I want to work my whole life. I love my dresses!” complained she.
For other, more adventurous, it is a roll of the dice.
Gabriella Garbeau has chosen to go against the current. She has opened a pop-up store for a few months.
“I think it is an opportunity for me to come here because I know that in a few years, it’s going to be… the business will be successful”, said the owner of the Bookstore Roots.
To support the merchants, the Plaza has launched a campaign of crowdfunding in the month of July. The goal of$ 75,000 has already been reached.