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Despite project, Sandys open for business

The downtown Sandy streetscape and undergrounding project is like a facelift: It's messy, it's painful, but in the end, chances are the results will be favorable (just don't do too many of them).

Over the past few months, the sidewalks in our downtown core have been ripped out, replaced with gravel, and then, little by little, replaced with the brand new, permanent, wider sidewalks.

There's no question that, despite the much-appreciated efforts of the contractors to keep driveways open and walkways functional, the project has adversely affected Sandy businesses.

It's easy to see why. Why would customers go to all the trouble of walking on gravel and around caution tape to go to a restaurant when they could just go to a restaurant outside of the messy area? How relaxing is it to patronize a business when its surroundings look like the aftermath of an earthquake?

At least two businesses in town have closed partly due to the undergrounding project. Several others are hurting and may not make it until the end of the project. Others are just taking a hit as foot traffic in the downtown core is dramatically reduced.

We would like to take this opportunity to encourage residents, business owners and other Sandy enthusiasts alike: Stop and shop in Sandy like never before. Local stores and restaurants, especially those in the project area, need customers to walk past the caution tape to stay in business.

It may be difficult to park, it may be a little inconvenient navigating around the rubble and the incomplete sidewalks, but in the end, it's worth the satisfaction of knowing that you've helped the local economy.

Sandy is still open for business - patronize!