FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Executive director of the Fort St. John Salvation Army, Jared Braun, says the organization’s thrift store has seen sales begin to drop since the third phase of construction on 100th Street began.

“We’re not in any panic or extreme concern. But obviously, we were looking forward to a really optimistic summer, and now it feels like it’s kind of dropped back a bit,” Braun stated.

He adds that if the store can’t sell the items it has, it limits the amount of donations they can receive.

“From what we’ve understood, [Mennonite Central Committee Thrift Store] is actually accepting fewer donations which is turning more people our way with donations, which generally is okay. But when we have so many, we need more customers to get it out the front door,” Braun explained.

“If we end up with too many donations and we can’t process them properly, we inevitably might have to send some to the landfill, and that’s really the last thing we want to do.”

Braun believes sales at the store have gone down due to decreased foot traffic and residents not realizing that they can drive up 100th Avenue and park in front of the store.

“Some people may just be deciding not to shop with us because they don’t know how to get there or how to park there right now,” Braun said.

Braun’s concerns were echoed by Scoop Clothing manager Whitney Armstrong, who feels that the city’s signage is confusing for residents.

“One of the main [concerns] we’ve had from our clients is that people still think they can’t come down the streets because of the way they’ve made the signage,” Armstrong said.

“So they need to change that signage to say something like businesses are open, please come down,” She continued.

Armstrong says Scoop is located right in front of the U-turn in the construction zone, which is too small for many vehicles to get through.

She adds that while she appreciates the city’s efforts to help, she’d like to see more being done.

Armstrong is scheduled to meet with the city next week to discuss how they can help support local businesses affected by the construction.

Spencer Hall is a news reporter for energeticcity.ca and a recent graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Radio Arts & Entertainment program. Growing up in Northwest B.C. made Spencer aware of the importance of local journalism, independent media, and reconciliation. In his spare time, you can find Spencer reading, playing video games, or at the FSJ dog park with his dog, Teddy.