Grassroots campaign aims to boost 4th Avenue business

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Grassroots campaign aims to boost 4th Avenue business

By Cory Marshall. CREATED Jun 21, 2013

TUCSON(KGUN9-TV) - You could call it the perfect storm; triple-digit temperatures, school out for summer and street car construction. 

The Chocolate Iguana on 4th Avenue is just one of several shops feeling the heat of summer and slowed business. 

"A lot of sleepless nights because there is nothing I can do about it," Chocolate Iguana owner Marci Conklin said. 

Conklin says she has seen a 60 percent drop in business since the modern street car construction first started. She has not been able to bounce back. 

Stories like these are the reason behind a new, very grassroots, movement. It is called the Move Your Meetings campaign. The idea is in the name. Organizers want to get people to move their meeting to local shops on the struggling 4th Ave. strip.

Organizers kick-started the campaign on Friday. They want the campaign to stretch through the summer months. 

"I was walking by and I saw a lot of empty businesses when it was the height of the construction and delays and it just depressed me," Move Your Meetings organizer Miguel Ortega said. 

"This is when our businesses need us the most," Ortega continued. 

The work is helping new businesses too. 

"The more people the better because people are going by and looking and wondering, so it brings them in," The Hopyard co-owner Justin Richardell said. 

"It definitely has deterred a lot of business. People are so used to not coming down here we need to find a way to get them to come back down here.  I think this will be an excellent avenue for that, " Conklin told 9OYS. 

Organizers say the boost in business needs to stick otherwise 4th Ave. mom-and-pop shops could soon disappear.