What is RTA’s MainStreet program?
Impacted businesses along RTA roadway and improvement projects are eligible to receive third-party consulting to assist the businesses prior to construction and during construction, and put the business in the postion to be more successful post construction. This program is also made available to the region's municipalities for non-RTA transportation projects provided there is a reimbursable funding source for its business assistance services.
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 consideration of services if they believe they will be impacted.
How much will these services cost me?
Nothing … services are free and made available to all businesses within the quarter mile zone.
What do businesses need during an improvement project?
Transportation improvement projects have many effects on businesses, most notably the potential loss of revenue which can jeopardize a business’s cash flow and operations. This has the potential to put them out of business. Business losses due to transportation construction projects can run up to 50 percent with typical averages in the 15 percent to 20 percent range. Not all businesses are impacted equally or negatively with many variables and factors determine business impacts. Again every business has unique needs depending on the project. Some of these needs may include the following and may require some form of action by the MainStreet business assistance consulting team.
- Project Information
- Design Considerations
- Maintaining Revenues
- Issue Resolution
- Positive Cash Flow
- Growth Opportunities
Why do you want my e-mail?
Whether or not you provide your e-mail is optional. However, e-mail has proven to be the quickest, most effective and least costly method to disseminate project information. We ask for e-mail addresses because municipalities frequently use e-mail to provide project updates and other types of communication in an attempt to better serve the business community.
How will I know if I need or can benefit from business assistance?
Call our MainStreet hotline at 838-4352 or discuss directly with your MainStreet liaisons/ombudsman when they visit. Our team has many years of direct experience on what to expect during transportation improvement projects; how it could affect you and, more importantly, how we can help you get through it.
What makes for successful construction mitigation?
MainStreet has determined that businesses can be successful during transportation construction projects by following two proven steps that are validated by national studies and direct experience. The steps are:
- Effectively and consistently communicate to the businesses both before and during the project.
- Help businesses directly plan for and act on elements that may negatively impact them during the project.
What services are provided?
- Informational Liaison
- Construction Ombudsman
- Direct Consulting
- Business Resources
What services are NOT provided?
- Compensation (i.e., reimbursement of lost revenue, advertising costs, marketing budgets, etc.)
- Tax deferment or exemptions (i.e., property, sales or income tax)
- Property appraisal, acquisition and relocation (municipalities provide these services if required)
- Legal services
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 over 10,000. MainStreet has touched over 4,500 in the first six years of the RTA plan.
Who are the MainStreet consultants?
The MainStreet consulting team is assembled from a pool of qualified independent contracted small business consultants with a combined 45 years of construction mitigation experience and over 200 years of business consulting. 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 always on delivering the best services to the businesses.
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 communications. For others, this may include detailed construction readiness plans tailored to specific needs. Some businesses also may want a complete business assessment of their operations, resulting in recommendations and additional free consulting services and deliverables. Finally, the participating business will be asked to give autonomous feedback about the services provided and about the program overall.
During the consulting process how much time can the consultant spend working with me?
Every business and project is unique, so we look at many factors when determining how much time a business may require and how you may benefit from our program. Most consulting falls between 30 and 75 hours with the majority clocking in around 40-50 hours. Mainstreet looks at 22 different criteria when allocating consulting hours. Some of these factors include:
- Potential construction impacts (i.e., related to the project’s size, scope, schedule, duration, nature of closure, etc.)
- Business proximity to planned construction activities
Type of business (i.e., retail, dining, service, office, manufacturing, trades, non-profit, etc.)
- Nature of business (i.e., destination, convenience, competitors or substitute products /services, etc.)
- Business access (i.e., pre, during and post construction)
- Longevity at current location (i.e., start-up, established, franchise, multiple locations, etc.)
- Acquisition or relocation requirements by the municipality
- Other factors (i.e., company size, sales volume, profitability, growth rate, opportunities, economic conditions, etc.)
What are some examples of deliverable that you have provided?
After the assessment process, the clients determine with the consultants what one or two key deliverables would be the most valuable. Every business is unique and may require different things at different points in the life cycle of their business; as a result, the deliverables provided are as varied as the needs. Click here to view deliverables that we have already provided to clients.
Will sensitive business information remain confidential?
Yes, only basic contact information is included in our outreach database. Information pertaining to your specific operations will be given at your discretion and confidentially maintained between you and the independent MainStreet consultant.
What if we are required to relocate because of the project?
We understand that if you are required to relocate as part of a municipality’s project plan this can have many impacts on your business. MainStreet increased business consulting services both pre and post relocation in these special cases.
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. In other words, we believe that it is far better to be proactive than to be reactive.
How do I know that 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. To monitor our programs success, we perform continual performance tracking through a direct business (client) feedback process.
- High Client Satisfaction
Performance rankings in six categories of service
79 % Excellent
- 100% “Excellent” Value Rating
Answer to questionnaire question: “Overall, how much value do you believe MainStreet provides to small business?”
- 50% inspired to say “Thank You” directly
MainStreet, RTA and municipalities regularly receive appreciative feedback in the form of letters, cards, notes, phone calls, etc. from businesses who have worked with our team. MainStreet also is also held directly accountable through standard RTA audits while providing regular updates to the following:
- Public at large
- Project team
- Transportation departments
- Municipalities and jurisdictional agencies
- Technical Management Committee (TMC)
- Pima Association of Governments (PAG)
- Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) Management Team
- Citizens Accountability for Regional Transportation Committee (CART)
- RTA Board
How engaged has the MainStreet Business Assistance Program been with the business community?
MainStreet’s program was fully implemented in spring of 2008. Since that time MainStreet has
- Logged over 31,000 business outreach and ombudsmen visits
- Provided outreach to over 4,500 busineses representing 70,000+ employees.
- Provided services on over 50 regional projects.
- Provided confidential consulting services to over 410 companies
- Developed proprietary business assessment software which objectively determines consulting recommendations and consulting hour allocation.
- Produced overy 500 unique deliverables to affected businesses at no cost to them.
- Received hundreds of positive testimonials from business owners and managers.
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. We are here to help!