City offers a variety of resources to businesses along North Monroe during construction

North Monroe Street is home to many small, family-owned businesses. In an effort to help them get through the disruptive construction period, the City of Spokane has done things a little differently than past construction projects to make sure each survives and thrives.

When plans for the project were first announced, only 32 percent of North Monroe Street business owners were supportive.

In July of 2016, Paint In My Hair owner Justin Jochim said, “I’d like to think it would bring more business, but I don’t think people will look at North Monroe street as a walking destination.”

While Azar’s restaurant owner Katy Azar added, “it doesn’t seem to matter, what us business owners think, even though we work very hard.”

Monday, it was full steam ahead with the reconstruction of the corridor despite business those owners’ reservations.

In an effort to calm the majority’s fears, the City of Spokane is pulling out the stops to make the next seven months a little easier.

Post Street, the main detour for construction, is filled with signs giving directions to storefronts.

And one business owner that calls North Monroe home, Rogue Heart Media, has been hired by the City to take the reigns on a marketing campaign aimed at driving in customers. Their first order of business?

Producing maps to be put in every business that show customers how to get around.

“My mission for this campaign is to make sure the businesses feel supported, that the customers feel informed and that we continue to grow the positivity around this area,” explained Megan Kennedy, owner of Rogue Heart Media.

Extra signage and fun activities for customers are all ahead, but Monday was reserved for the launch of an evolving resource on all things related to the corridor, a new website.

“It’s focusing on access information and updates as they happen and events occurring in the neighborhood,” said Kennedy.

There will be an interactive map of the corridor that allows visitors to explore block by block and find things like parking.

“With this campaign we are really looking at it with the eyes of longevity as well. We are trying to create tools that will continue to serve the businesses and the business district over time,” she added.

Additionally, the City is offering businesses along North Monroe help to make changes to the exteriors of their shops with the facade improvement program, business coaching, and a loan fund to give owners extra security during construction.