1. What is the MainStreet Business Assistance Program’s mission?
MainStreet’s mission is to provide outreach and consulting services to businesses located in RTA-related transportation improvement zones, which will enable them to sustain their business and make choices that will enhance their ability to succeed.
2. Who is eligible to receive these services?
All businesses located within a quarter mile of the construction zone on RTA-funded transportation projects are eligible. Businesses outside this zone may contact us for special considerations if they believe they will be impacted.
3. What if I am in a non-RTA transportation project?
You may be eligible for services for projects that are not designated in the RTA regional transportation plan of May 16, 2006, if a funding source can be identified.
4. How much will these services cost me?
Services are free to all businesses within a quarter mile of the designated project area.
5. How might a transportation improvement project affect my business?
Not all businesses are impacted negatively, or equally. Many variables and factors determine the impact on a business. The most notable impact is the potential loss of revenue which can jeopardize a company’s cash flow, operation and functionality, quickly putting them out of business. Nationally, losses of revenue due to transportation construction projects can run up to 50 percent, with typical averages in the 20 percent to 25 percent range.
6. What are some typical business requests and needs?
- Specific Project Information
- Design Considerations
- Issue Resolution
- Help With Declining Revenues
- Access & Signage
- Timing Considerations
- How to Prepare
- Business Consulting
- Community Resources
- Appreciation & Empathy
- Feedback Opportunities
7. What are the benefits of a construction mitigation/business assistance program?
As more and more communities recognized that small businesses were at risk from difficulties that arise during transportation improvement project construction, they began developing construction mitigation/business assistance programs. Some benefits include:
- Experience in assisting businesses through the challenges of a transportation improvement project
- Saving jobs by minimizing business closures
- Providing best practice tools and services
- Enhancing engagement opportunities through planning, design and construction phases
- Providing triage services for the businesses, project team and contractor
- Increasing communication to minimize project misinformation and “street rumors’
- Identify business growth opportunities
- Boosting project satisfaction and success
- Providing something “good” in a difficult situation
- Developing stronger positive government/private sector relationships based upon trust, respect, availability, tangible solutions and results
8. How will I know if I need or can benefit from business assistance?
Call our MainStreet hotline at (520) 838-4352 or discuss directly with your MainStreet business outreach liaison. Our team has over 120 years of direct experience in what to expect during transportation improvement projects, how the construction project could affect you and how we can help you get through it.
9. What services does MainStreet provide?
MainStreet consultants have created 700+ unique and customized consulting deliverables for their clients to help minimize transportation improvement project impacts on their businesses and to improve the overall health of their businesses.
10. What services are not provided?
The MainStreet program does not provide services in the following areas:
- Direct Financial Compensation is not allowed under the Arizona State Gift clause.
- Tax Deferment or Exemptions: All taxes including property, sales, income, and state taxes must continue to be paid. If you own your property, we encourage you to apply for a Pima County property tax assessment reduction with the Pima County Assessor during construction.
- Property Appraisal, Acquisition or Relocation: These services are provided under the jurisdiction’s real estate right-of-way programs and departments.
- Jurisdictional Requirements and Codes
- Legal Services
- Direct Costs of Advertising: Over 100 marketing and promotional consulting services are available, but the actual cost of individualized advertising is not permitted
11. Who are typical participants?
Participants of the MainStreet program typically are small business owners and managers, commercial property owners, property management companies, non-profit entities and business associations. The anticipated number of business clients that will be engaged by the MainStreet team over the 20-year RTA plan will be 10,000+. MainStreet has touched 6,000+ businesses, representing 75,000+ employees, in the first 10 years of the RTA plan.
12. Who are the MainStreet consultants?
The MainStreet consulting team is assembled from a pool of small business consultants. These independent contractors possess a total of 120 years of construction mitigation experience and 250+ years of business consulting knowledge. Each consulting team is put together specifically for each business client based upon the client’s specific needs and requirements. MainStreet’s consultants provide services in most business disciplines and pride themselves on the diversity of consulting deliverables and work products created for its business clients. MainStreet promotes and fosters a collaborative, communication-focused, results-oriented consulting environment whose primary focus is delivering quality services to the businesses.
13. What is involved in the consulting process?
An independent, private sector contracted consultant will meet with you to discuss your anticipated business needs. For many businesses, this may be as simple as receiving timely project updates, traffic control plans and other project-related communications. For others, this may include detailed construction mitigation planning tailored to specific needs. Some businesses also may want a complete “health check” business assessment of their organization, resulting in recommendations and additional consulting services and deliverables at no cost.
14. What are some examples of consulting deliverables that MainStreet has provided?
Using the results of MainStreet’s business health check assessment, the clients and consultants determine the one or two most valuable consulting deliverables. Every business is unique and requires a different approach at different points in the lifecycle of that business; as a result, the deliverables provided are as varied as the needs. MainStreet’s Are You Prepared? document highlights 100+ unique deliverables to give you an idea of the diversity of services delivered.
15. How much time can the consultant spend working with me during the consulting process?
Every business and project is unique. Many factors go into determining exactly how a business may most benefit from our program and the amount of consulting time a business may require. Typically, individual business consulting hours fall between 35 and 70 hours. MainStreet developed a software program which objectively determines consulting hour allocation by analyzes 15 different criteria. These criteria include:
- Potential construction impacts related to the project’s size, scope, schedule, duration, nature of closure, business proximity to planned construction activities
- Type of business: retail, hospitality, personal and professional services, manufacturing, non-profit, trades, etc.
- Nature of business: destination, convenience, competitors, substitute products/services
- Business access: before, during and post construction
- Longevity at current location: start-up, established, franchise, multiple locations
- Acquisition or relocation requirements by the municipality
- Other factors: company size, financial strengths and profitability
16. Will sensitive business information remain confidential?
Yes, only basic contact information is included in our outreach liaison database. Information pertaining to your specific business and its operations will be given at your discretion with confidentially maintained between you and the independent MainStreet consultant via a signed confidentiality agreement.
17. What if we are required to relocate because of the project?
All property appraisals, acquisitions and/or relocations services are provided under the jurisdiction’s real estate and right-of-way departments. We understand that if you are required to relocate as part of a municipality’s project plan, this can have a different set of impacts on your business. MainStreet offers additional business consulting services both pre- and post-relocation in these special cases.
18. What results can be expected?
In general, the better prepared a business is before heading into an improvement project, the greater the chance for success. MainStreet can provide the tools and services that have historically worked. However, the level of success that a business experiences depends on factors including working with an independent MainStreet consultant, maintaining a “can do” attitude, and being determined to plan and implement a variety of mitigation strategies. Remember, it is far better to be proactive than reactive when it comes to getting through transportation improvement project impacts.
19. Why do you want my email address?
Whether or not you provide your email address is optional. However, email has proven to be the quickest, most effective and least costly method to disseminate timely project information. We ask for email addresses because the municipalities and MainStreet use email to provide project updates and other types of communication in an attempt to better serve the business community.
20. How do I know MainStreet is accountable and that my tax dollars are going to good use in this program?
MainStreet is a required program element within the Regional Transportation Authority’s 20-year plan. MainStreet, the RTA and municipalities receive appreciative feedback regularly in the form of letters, cards, notes, phone calls, etc., from businesses who have worked with our team.
To monitor our program’s success, we perform continual performance tracking through a direct business client feedback process. Currently, 43% of businesses who finish our direct consulting services provide feedback through our anonymous survey.
Performance rankings in five categories of service are:
- 81.7% Excellent
- 16.2% Good
- 1.9% Fair
- 0.2% Poor
MainStreet conducts follow-up on site interviews, focus groups and internal systems reviews along with standard RTA audits from the state. MainStreet also provides regular updates to the following:
- The public at large
- Project teams
- Transportation departments
- Municipalities and jurisdictional agencies
- Technical Management Committee (TMC)
- Pima Association of Governments (PAG)
- Regional Transportation Authority Management Team
- Citizens Accountability for Regional Transportation Committee (CART)
- Regional Transportation Authority Board
21. How engaged has the MainStreet program been with the business community?
The MainStreet program was initiated in the fall of 2007. Approximately 95% of the program time has been spent directly working with businesses. Since that time MainStreet has:
- Provided services to over 6,000 businesses on 60+ regional projects to date
- Made available a consistent face-to-face point of contact for businesses
- Logged 42,000+ business visits from our business outreach liaisons
- Facilitated follow-up and resolution on thousands of specific business/project questions and concerns during planning, design and construction phases
- Provided confidential consulting services to 600+ companies, producing 700+ unique deliverables to affected businesses at no cost to them
22. What can I do next?
To learn more about the program or to begin working with the MainStreet Business Assistance team, please call (520) 838-4352.