CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The road crews are working and the barrier walls are going up now.
While it’s a hardship to businesses on Independence Boulevard, many along the corridor say the construction and widening project could ultimately help them once done in October of 2016.
But now there’s another concern. Zoning ordinances that make it unlawful to advertise have small business owners worried that they won’t be able to compete during the construction phase of the widening project.
Razor’s Edge is a new business on Independence Boulevard that opened last May. The owners realized the construction would be a hardship, but still forged ahead with their business plan, hoping that advertising and good service would help define them and draw customers.
They bought flags and signage, spent money to get it in front of their shop, then were told it all had to come down. They’ve been fined $50 and could face a $200 fine if they break the rules again.
"The only thing we can do is footwork at businesses or pass out information and do as much as we can,” said Razor’s Edge owner Anthony Winstead.
Winstead and his partner feel the city has been inconsistent and unfair. They point to other businesses that have signage in front of their stores or on the road.
NBC Charlotte crews drove along Independence Boulevard and found several advertisements and small car dealerships advertising car prices on windshields.
NBC Charlotte reached out to the City’s Zoning Board representative, and have not heard back.
Winstead was told that the ordinances are in place for safety reasons. His concern is that they are too stringent and will further cut into his business.