PULASKI, Va. (WFXR) — Downtown Pulaski businesses say they are having to navigate troubled waters, now that west main street is shut down because of waterline replacement.

Co-owner of “Amazing Grace Boutique and Cafe” Regina Dean says, when she first heard about the street shutting down she had mixed reactions.

“I am excited to see what is going to happen after the fact. I am a little nervous as to what’s happening right now, and what is to come over the next couple of months,” said Dean.

She and other businesses say the interruption of foot traffic is causing a significant drop in revenue.

Photo Credit: WFXR’S Kelsey Jean-Baptiste

Coffee Shop, Max on Main posted on Facebook the temporary shutdown of their business, because of future revenue losses the business will face while going into the winter months.

Town manager Darlene Burcham says this is all happening because of creating a bigger and better Town of Pulaski.

“We have had at least six buildings purchased in that one block of West Main by developers,” said Burcham.

Those developers want to add more apartments and retail spaces but cannot do that without properly working sprinkler systems, which will need greater water capacity.

Back in February of this year, the town hired a consultant to design a replacement line and six lateral waterlines.

“The funds to do the waterline itself is coming from American Rescue Pan Act allocation. The federal money that was made available. We were also able to get two grants from the Virginia Department of Transportation and that money will fund new streetscapes,” said Burcham.

The street officially closed on Nov. 30.

She adds she understands there is never a good time to limit access to local businesses.

So, the town and county’s economic development administration came up with the idea that each business on West Main street can apply for funding of up to 3,000 dollars if they are experiencing financial losses.

“It is a one-time application for any business between the two blocks of Main Street. There are two intersections that are blocked off, and anything that is on that affected part of West Main Street is eligible. There is a stipulation that you do have to be in business for six months in order to gain that support,” said Lydia Gilmer, manager of the county’s Small Business Solutions Department and a ‘Pulaski On Main’ board member.

Burcham and Dean stress the importance of residents using parking lots closest to West Main street, and sidewalks as they remain open during construction, to help businesses.

“We need you now more than we ever have. The distance from the parking lot to Walmart is no different than the distance from our parking lot to our main entrance,” said Dean.

Burcham explains a barbeque restaurant is making its way in the Spring to 37 West Main Street where that developer wants top-floor apartments.

If businesses are interested in applying for grants, owners can contact the town at (540) 994-8600 for more information.

The construction is projected to last for the next four months.