WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB-TV) – Year-long construction in the Village of Williamsville took a toll on Main Street businesses, and now those local business owners are working to bounce back.
‘Walkable Williamsville’ was a year-long project to make Main Street safer and more pedestrian friendly.
It’s over now, but business owners suffered during construction last summer, and they’re banking on events like ‘Music on Main’ to help make up for it.
Music on Main is a recurring weekly event every summer. It features a wide variety of local musicians and bands, and the stores stay open late. It makes for the perfect opportunity to get visitors in those stores.
“The people have really loved the whole idea, and so have all the restaurants and all the stores,” said Eddie Tice, chairman of Music on Main.
It’s particularly significant this year to Debbie Steinbruckner of Village Artisans, who is eager and hopeful to recoup lost sales.
“This season is very important to let people know, especially in the good weather, that everything is back to normal and that the street is good, the sidewalks are good, we’ve got benches,” she said.
One of the problems is that the construction was happening during last year’s Music on People. People still came out, but they faced some challenges.
“I looked out the window one night and watched this group of women in their Stiletto heels navigating like, rocks, for sidewalks,” Steinbruckner recalls.
Construction affected restaurants, too. Maria Macpeek, general manager of The Irishman, is looking forward instead of back.
“It definitely made business a little bit difficult, but we had a positive outlook. We know going forward that it was going to bring more business in and more people to the Village, so even though we struggled a little bit last year, we knew that this year was going to be better,” she said.
Now, the construction is over, and there are more bands and diversity than before, including opera this year. Eddie Tice says he’ll work on getting punk next year.
“It brings a lot of people down because we have many different kinds of music,” he said.
All in all, Village business owners are very thankful for the summer events that are bringing customers up and down the brand new sidewalks.
“It’s really starting to come back again,” Steinbruckner said.