The Support for Business Liaison’s primary role is to:
- Provide information on the construction project, share timelines and procedures with the businesses and other key organizations within the area prior to and during the project via meetings, email messaging. and mailings
- Educate neighborhood businesses and property owners on potential impact mitigation options that are available
- Serve as the point of contact for businesses and City neighborhoods regarding parking issues, and pedestrian and vehicular access
- Coordinate with the construction supervisor and the contractor to identify and resolve any concerns that have a negative impact on businesses and residents.
Typical issues that occur during construction projects include reduced parking availability due to removal of spaces adjacent to businesses, and customers’ perception that businesses are closed. The SFB Liaison, in most instances, will identify off-street temporary parking, temporarily change on-street parking restrictions, and make sure “Open for Business” signage is posted to inform the public.
The SFB Liaison also works with members of the Common Council and other government entities to provide information that is helpful for their constituents. For major street projects, public information meetings are held prior to the start of the project - sometimes two (2) years in advance - with another meeting held closer to the start date. Businesses, neighborhood associations, Business Improvements Districts (BIDs) and other community organizations are invited to attend along with the local alderperson.
Depending on the nature and duration of the construction project, seminars for commercial property owners can be designed at no cost to them to help address any business-related concerns.