Construction project hurting businesses in Elkhart

ELKHART, Ind.-- Several small business owners on Main Street in Elkhart are at risk of closing their doors due to a construction project.

The managers said the detours are making it difficult for customers to get to the shops so sales have plummeted this summer.

The manager of the Main Street Mini Mart was told by the department of Public Works that the road should be back open in November.

Nader Saleh said, “My next door neighbor right here Elkhart Stereo isn’t getting any traffic at all. I don’t even know how he is surviving. He said he might be closing down, and it’s the same scenario here in 2 to 3 months if it’s not going well I might close my doors too.”

There are large mud pits on Main Street between Indiana Avenue and Prairie while the city replaces the sewer system.

Saleh said, “It’s closed all the way around me so I'm like surrounded from all angles.”

Saleh said his convenience store is the only one left standing in the neighborhood.

"This summer sales went way down. I'm barely able to pay bills. Sometimes I have to pay them out of my own pocket," said Saleh.

Homeowners said the road closure is frustrating, but they hope it doesn't run all the businesses out of the neighborhood.

Carolyn Graham said, “If the mini mart closes I'll have to drive at least 2 to 3 miles to the nearest convenience store."

On Wednesday public works and the mayor's office did not get back to our reporter for comment.

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