Birmingham businesses get creative as construction comes to end

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Birmingham business owners and customers are excited now that four months of construction on Old Woodward is coming to a close this Saturday.

"People are wanting to come here but a lot of times they would think twice because they didn't want to deal with the construction but now everyone's really anticipating this opening of the road," said Johnny Nikollaj with 6 Salon.

Whether it be the hip hair place or the old school barber shop, the pain is spread even. 

"We are down a little bit but now that the streets are basically almost up and running you can tell that business really kicked back up," said Travis McIntosh of The Barber Pole.

Business was down for the summer of 2018, but city reps will tell you from email lists, coupons and special promotion that businesses have had to step up their game and get creative.

Gazelle Sports says business dropped 30 percent. Nikki Pavlack got her customer list and went to work.

"We have a walking group called Birmingham Moves at 6:30 every Tuesday night. We have our Mom on the Move group Wednesday mornings at 9:30 and we have our run camps Tuesdays and Saturday mornings that also help bring people down," she said.

Restaurants have taken the biggest hit in profits. If you’re going to get a steak, why get a side of construction? But this Saturday, an annual event on the sidewalks of Birmingham will be a homecoming of sorts. Old Woodward officially opens this Saturday and the sale is meant to let customers who may have left know that store owners are ready to welcome them back.  

The city is standing by businesses during this lull. They're throwing money behind the effort.

"Implementing something called Birmingham bonus bucks. It was a program where the (city) put $50,000 and if a person spent a certain amount of money at a store they could earn money towards future purchases. Those kinds of programs helped alleviate some of the fear or the lack of desire to come into town," said Ingrid Tighe, Birmingham Shopping District Executive Director.