ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A shop owner on Central said businesses are going down one by one. She blames the Albuquerque Rapid Transit construction.
Bessie Romero said empty shelves represent her store’s future.
“I’m losing loyal customers also, because I don’t have the merchandise,” said Romero.
Romero is the owner of Bessie’s on Central near Atrisco. The gift shop and craft store has been open for almost 25 years. But Romero said at this point, she can’t afford to restock or stay open anymore.
Romero said that’s because she went from making an average of $400 a day to less than a dollar.
“My lowest lowest sales for one day was 89 cents,” said Romero.
Romero blames the ART construction for her store’s struggles.
“Customers weren’t coming by because it was too much of a problem to get here,” said Romero.
Romero claims she’s not the only one. She said the store next door was the first to go on her block.
The owner of J&J’s Tire Shop just two doors down from Bessie’s said their future is also unclear.
“Sometimes we make $10,” said Owner Jose Aguilar. “Sometimes we make not even a dollar.”
The City of Albuquerque said it’s doing everything possible to help businesses get through construction. It said that’s what the Small Business Resource Collaborative is for. It offers shops free business and financial consulting, along with access to loans.
The city said the Collaborative has also reached out to Bessie’s.
“We’ve been out and contacted them at least nine times, maybe even closer to 11 in the last 11 months,” said Joanie Griffin, spokesperson for ART.
But Romero said the construction woes still outweigh the help.
“It’s just hurting so many people,” said Romero. “The construction is hurting so many people.”
Romero said she will have to close by May unless a miracle happens. Romero’s daughter did start a GoFundMe for the business.
- Parking meters along Central cause free parking confusion
- Company supplying buses for ART working to fix issues
- ART station ‘light shows’ aim to curb crime on Central
- City ‘stuck’ with Mayor Berry hire who oversaw ART project
- City could adjust traffic rules along Central during ART’s ongoing construction
- Company supplying buses for ART admits there are problems
- Mayor Keller: New problems could delay ART bus service for another year
- Some struggled, other Nob Hill businesses report good holiday sales as ART remains incomplete
- Councilor wants ART security officers to have more training
- City says ART project is 15 million over budget