FAIRPORT, N.Y. (WROC) — In the midst of inevitable challenges brought on by COVID and construction, the village of Fairport is seeing a rise in business.
Village leaders say continuous work behind-the-scenes has contributed to the goal of making Fairport a more walkable community.
In addition to business challenges spurred by the pandemic, the village of Fairport faced another significant obstacle with construction of the Lift Bridge.
As that project has reached completion, the village’s focus remained to bring new business in.
Dawn Verdugo and Jessie McNaughton are settling into their new location of Lift Bridge Yarns on Fairport’s Main Street.
The duo opened their first brick-and-mortar store nearby not long before the start of the pandemic.
Soon after, construction began in the business district. However, the owners say they didn’t let these factors stop them from moving forward.
“We got our online shop up and running, and between online sales and our customers buying gift cards to help support us, we survived,” said Jessie McNaughton, co-owner of Lift Bridge Yarns. “We feel we’ve come a long way,” said Dawn Verdugo, also co-owner of Lift Bridge Yarns.
In the last couple of years, Fairport mayor Julie Domaratz says the village has seen a boom in brick-and-mortar business, bringing in new storefronts despite previous obstacles.
“We’re adding four or five to our main street, which for a main street of this size, that’s huge for our community,” said Domaratz, “While people may have seen the community on hold because of COVID and because of the lift bridge construction, we were still working in the background getting jobs done.”
For business owners who are finding their footing, they say they’re happy to be part of the progress.
“The sky is the limit. We don’t even know where we’re going to go from here,” said Verdugo.
“The only way to go is up,” said McNaughton.
Meanwhile, more projects are in the works in Fairport. Right now, the village is in the planning stages for the reconstruction of two primary streets in the business district.
Construction is expected to begin in 2023 and 2024.