Business owners in Laval want financial support from city during construction

Some Laval businesses are worried about a lean holiday season because construction is keeping customers away, and they aren't having any luck getting the city to help them financially.

Last week, Montreal unveiled the details of its plan to compensate businesses struggling due to roadwork, and some entrepreneurs in Laval want to see their city follow suit.

George Tsolis is a salesman at Auto Shelby, located on St-Martin Boulevard in Chomedey.

He said walk-in customers are nowhere to be seen since the city started working on the sewer and aqueduct network near the car dealership.

"Of course I'm hurting," he said. "Let's just say it's going to be a rough Christmas if it continues like this."

Construction work started Oct. 22 and is expected to continue until the end of December.


Tsolis relies on commission from his sales, but since construction started, he hasn't been able to deliver cars to clients.

"If we can't deliver, we can't pay bills. We have children to feed at home," he said.

"Christmas and New Years are coming up."

Nearby Parfumerie Éternelle was empty when CBC visited on Friday.

Its owner, Youssef Shaw, said the city told him it is not responsible for lost revenue.

He's concerned about the next month and a half.

"They could have done this in January, it's a slow month," Shaw said.

Compensation in Montreal

Montreal's newly announced programs include one, worth $25 million, to compensate for losses due to sewer repairs and other underground work, including STM construction, and another, worth $16.8 million, to support business development organizations during construction periods.

Laval isn't going to follow Montreal's lead, however.

"At this point in time, the city is not working on a compensation plan," public affairs manager Sarah Bensadoun said. 

With files from Matt D'Amours