I can understand the mixed reaction. Businesses near 23rd & E Cherry have probably lost a significant amount of traffic due to the disruptions, whereas those at 23rd & E Union (where there is still ample parking accessible from E Union) may be making a slightly better go of things. It's only a few blocks difference, but the impacts may be more significant for one than the other.
Rough justice is that City should pay for its incompetence in inability to schedule.

Practical problem is that City is incompetent on almost every project. So gonna pay in Ballard? Where the white folks are? Probably not.

Sounds like the classic case of looking a gift horse in the mouth. Does this situation suck for the small business owners? Yes. Is the city really obligated in any way to give them money? No.
The mayor is afraid of the NAACP. After learning about the friends the President spends his new years with I would be cautious too. It is simple. Offer to pay the businesses. To get payment the business give their tax information for last year and the previous three years if they have been around that long. We pay for the difference on whatever gives them their highest net profit. So if in November they profited $5,000 and this year it is $2,500 the city offers $2,500 for that month.
The city really messed up in how they handled the construction of this project. It was supposed to happen in neat phases, but they rushed ahead and chewed up the whole length of the street all at once. It has been a disaster for the whole neighborhood, not just for those along the route. There was always going to be some impact, but they didn't even try to keep that impact minimal.
The coffee shop at 23rd and Cherry was a business that was barely viable to begin with..bad location for many reasons ( no parking , little foot traffic except for Garfield students, and very small menu and a pseudo-non profit vibe to menu and pricing. Also Am-pm across the street that better caters to quick grab and go commuter market. The owner of coffee shop seems like a nice person but she's not nailing it with that business - irregardless of the construction. Ezells and Am-pm seems to be doing OK despite the construction.

The property she's leasing is a bit sketchy too. Not a great draw to get people in the door

Should we be subsidizing a less-than-viable business to keep it on life support until it inevitably fails? Oh well, it's just free money anyway - not like the city has other needs for it.

@5, yes, the original plan was for phased construction, and that was thrown out when there was a problem with the light pole order (WTF, I know). The original 8 month closures would have been hard on businesses, but there would have been light at the end of the tunnel at least.

@6, it's easy to make 701 Coffee a straw man for the entire corridor. There was plenty of walk-up business from the neighborhood before getting across 23rd became an exercise in taking your life in your hands. Ezells business is down significantly, btw.

The larger point is that the entirety of the corridor's business community has been harmed by a badly managed project (the phasing wasn't the only issue, by far) and the City should not get away with such things. It is *never* "free money" - and if you look, they had to stretch pretty far to find money they could legally use for this purpose.
@7 hardly making coffee shop a straw man. I was specifically talking about it on its own merit. The comment about free money was tongue in cheek - the fact that it is not free money is the point. Will there be public accountability and transparency on how the money is divided up between the businesses?

Most new single Indy coffee shops of that size have a very hard time to begin with. How much of their success is the taxpayer responsible for?
Is this a good use of city funds - and how will they make that determination? What part of the award will be objective and what part subjective?
@8 some of your questions are quite valid and things I am concerned about as well. The City has not yet indicated how this will work, and I know the businesses themselves are waiting on the details. To your last question, I would hope it would all be objective - businesses along the corridor can show damages (80% plus decrease in sales) and then receive payment accordingly. I am not sure what you mean by "subjective".

"Is this a good use of city funds" - the majority of City Council, and belatedly the Mayor's office, believe it is.
City is not obliged to give money small businesses but do you want big retail chains and corporations use this chance for a monopoly? I hardly believe it if you are not their representative?
Looking forward to guys write my essay for me fast on this matter today.

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