Small business owners worried about Broadway construction affecting operations

Two sections of Broadway near downtown will be closed off for the rest of 2023

SAN ANTONIO – Small businesses are the lifeline of our economy, but ongoing construction can significantly impact their operations.

Two sections of Broadway near downtown will be closed off for the rest of 2023.

Alexandra Garro owns Maxiss Modern, a sustainable business model that sells high-quality previously owned items. She also sells products made in San Antonio, focusing on a circular economy while supporting local artisans and vintage dealers.

Maxiss Modern opened almost a year ago this month, but today, the storefront is hidden behind fencing and broken asphalt.

Garro says construction has created a roadblock for small businesses at the most profitable time of the year, the holiday season.

“As a business owner, I’m really looking at having anywhere from 80 to 90% of my business completely taken away because I don’t have foot traffic,” Garro said. “So, I have to try to secure funding, I have to try to secure credit, line of credit, anything that I can do to kind of put my business on pause potentially during that time.”

And she is not alone. Next door is Salvador Saenz, part owner of Mozna Chocolate and Coffee Company.

Saenz says the start of more construction work is a nightmare.

Both Saenz and Garro say they understand the construction is temporary, but the loss their businesses are experiencing could have a permanent effect.

“I wish the city would take better care of us since we cannot pick up business as we’re supposed to; we can’t employ people,” Saenz said.

District 1 Council Woman Sukh Kaur said in a statement:

“The District 1 office has been working with the affected businesses during this construction period. We understand their frustration and will continue doing everything possible to minimize disruptions to their businesses.”

Garro expressed interest in other means of monetary funding.

“And really in this situation, what businesses, small businesses specifically need is some type of monetary funding that they don’t have,” Garro said.

Saenz and Garro say they are also looking forward to the completion of a nearby entertainment complex, the Make Ready, that is set to open in the Fall and say they hope that will help draw in customers.

Broadway from 4th Street to McCullough Avenue and 6th Street to Brooklyn will be closed starting Tuesday, Sept. 5, and lasting through December 2023.

A spokesperson for San Antonio Public Works shared the following statement with KSAT:

“The City is coordinating the closures on Lower Broadway to maintain public access to all businesses along and near the corridor — either via Broadway or its side streets. Pedestrians will continue to have access along existing sidewalks on both sides.

“Last week, signs were installed notifying the public that businesses remain open, and the City is working with area businesses to provide information and resources about grants and additional signage.

“When construction is complete in Summer 2024, the final product will include wider sidewalks, benches, and pedestrian lighting and landscaping. In a related project, bike lanes are being added to nearby streets Avenue B and North Alamo.”

About the Authors

Jonathan Cotto is a reporter for KSAT’s Good Morning San Antonio. He’s a bilingual award-winning news reporter and he joined KSAT in 2021. Before coming to San Antonio, Cotto was reporting along the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas. He’s a veteran of the United States Navy.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.

Recommended Videos