City officials say there's only so much that can be done to curb the effect of downtown construction on businesses close to the work sites.
The effect of construction on surrounding cash registers came to light this week when owners of one restaurant said they were closing temporarily due to a drop in customers they suspected was directly related to the construction on Erie Street.
That business, Funky Ladles, reopened Friday after being closed for one day.
Kent City Manager Dave Ruller said city officials remain in close contact with business owners and their landlords to minimize the effect of construction on sales.
"We've been meeting with them since probably a month or so before this began to make it as fast as possible and least disruptive as possible," Ruller said. "We continue to do whatever we can. The downside is there's only so much you can do when you're building a new street."
The city has partnered with the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce to post temporary signs to make people aware the businesses remain open during the construction.
To try and further minimize the hit, the city won't start repaving South DePeyster Street until after Erie Street reopens, which is scheduled for mid August.
Still, the complete reconstruction of Erie Street means the businesses fronting it in Acorn Alley are without close, on-street parking and have only a temporary sidewalk on one side of the street for customer access.
At-large Kent City Councilman Robin Turner said he's talked with the business owners closest to the street reconstruction and said most seem to understand the situation — dust and all.
"What you can do is make sure the job is expedited in a fair and quick manner," he said. "But you can't pay the rent for them."