City funds website to help Stony Plain Road businesses amidst Valley Line West LRT construction

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A new website funded by Edmonton will help support local businesses in the Stony Plain Road area impacted by major ongoing construction of the Valley Line West LRT.

The City of Edmonton provided approximately $9,000 in funding towards the development of “Rally for the Road,” a website that promotes local businesses in the Stony Plain Road area and provides an “all-in-one-stop” for progress updates when it comes to construction in the area. In a news release Friday, the city said the website was launched in early October, and while it was funded by Edmonton, it is owned and managed by the Stony Plain Road Business Improvement Area (BIA).

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Coun. Andrew Knack, who has been a long-time advocate for financial support for businesses who have suffered due to ongoing construction, brought forward a motion at last Wednesday’s city council meeting that would explore a new policy to help business who are dealing with the negative repercussions.

“Stony Plain Road has enormous potential that the Valley Line West LRT will help realize. Initiatives like the ‘Rally for the Road’ site will assist businesses now while construction continues,” said Knack in a news release. “I encourage Edmontonians to visit the website and support the many unique businesses along Stony Plain Road and in the surrounding area.”

The motion passed in a tight 7-6 vote.

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The proposed policy would help businesses who have suffered financial loss during major construction projects which may apply to areas like Stony Plain Road where sidewalks have been torn up and areas fenced off due to ongoing construction of the West LRT line.

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After failing to pass the motion in the past, Knack came back to council proposing a program that would be repayable following the completion of construction and once revenue has increased.

Todd Janes, executive director of the Stony Plain Road BIA, said in an interview with Postmedia Thursday that several businesses are dealing with ongoing construction which make it difficult for customers to access storefronts. He said the new website will be a hub for Edmontonians to engage with businesses in the area.

“It’s a one-stop microsite for consumers or other people to get updates on construction. It provides a little bit more around business profiles and things like that too,” said Janes.

The website features an interactive map for users to help plan their visit including where to find parking, patio dining and where pets are welcomed. It includes profiles of businesses and services in the area and links for updates on the status of construction for the Valley Line West LRT.

The website will be active for the duration of construction on the Valley Line West LRT line.

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