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The New I-64

 

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Business Access

Business Survival:  Be Proactive with Customers

MoDOT recognized that businesses along I-64 would feel the effects of the construction closures during 2008 and 2009.  I-64 provides access to some of the region’s most vibrant business, shopping, cultural and entertainment districts.  Customers were encouraged to change their approach, not their destination.

To reduce congestion and to promote business access and visibility, MoDOT issued nearly $1 million in business outreach grants.  The grant program supports businesses and attractions likely to be affected by the I-64 closures.

The programs funded by these grants included:

GetaroundSTL.com GetaroundSTL.com  

Project Get Around
A regional program supporting all businesses in affected areas. The foundation of the program is www.GetaroundSTL.com, a website that helps any business reach out to current and new customers, with promotional offers, directions and information about nearby businesses. In addition, the program has developed a wide variety of collateral materials, with the images available to any participating business. Businesses can customize any of these materials for free, with printing/production costs being their only expense. Any business can sign up and create their personalized business page on the Get Around website for free.  Consumers can use the Get Around website to find restaurants, services and other businesses near their home or workplace, saving time and money with the convenient business offers.

 

MidMetro4.com  

Mid-Metro 4
A program supporting the businesses in the cities of Brentwood, Clayton, Maplewood and Richmond Heights.  This coalition was created in 2007 to emphasize the area’s one-of-a-kind shopping, dining, entertainment, and working experiences.  Using a website, the communities empower consumers, residents and businesses to continue to enjoy the amenities the areas have to offer during the I-64 construction and beyond.  Mid-Metro 4 will also offer an incentive card for special offers and discounts to consumers at the participating merchants in this four-city region.

 

   

The Loop Special Business District
This program included an advertising campaign targeted to visitors that were inconvenienced by construction. The Loop hosts more than 2,000 live performances, 80+ art exhibits and more than 3,000 movie showings per year.

 

   

Forest Park Southeast Development Corporation
A two-year program of marketing and promotions to support this developing area of retail, arts and entertainment venues.

In addition, funding was provided to the following groups to support their participation in the Project Get Around program:

Grand Center, Inc.
Central West End Association
Creve Coeur-Olivette Chamber of Commerce
Town & Country/Frontenac Chamber of Commerce


Tips for Businesses

St. Louis businesses were encouraged to be ready for the I-64 closures, armed with information and good attitudes. Here are some helpful tips that The New I-64 Community Relations Team urged local businesses to take into consideration while preparing their customers for the closure:

Stay Customer Focused

  • Sign up with GetAroundSTL.com and MidMetro4.com.
  • Make sure the people answering your phone are up-to-date on the current I-64 closures.
  • Remind callers of alternate routes to your location, or alternate locations.
  • Offer delivery and website orders so customers can avoid traffic.
  • Change your hours of operation –open earlier than you do now, or stay open later.
  • Include information about avoiding the closed roadways in your messages to your customers including direct mail, website, emails, advertising, voice mail messages when business is closed.
  • Link your website to the I-64 website for up-to-date information.
  • Link to the “Map My Trip” feature for driving directions around the closures.
  • Develop a customer referral incentive program. Your existing customers are your most effective sales force.
  • Pass out maps or directions to customers to show them how to get to your business during construction.
  • Create marketing materials that acknowledge the construction and provide compelling reasons for customers to do business with you.
  • Communicate with neighboring businesses, your chamber of commerce or business district for possible partnerships, such as cooperative advertising, promotions or other joint activities.

Assist Your Employees

  • Talk with employees about their commute issues. 
  • Consider allowing flex hours, condensed workweeks and telecommuting.
  • Encourage carpooling, including special parking for carpooling employees.
  • Sign up for free weekly email updates and share those updates with your employees.
  • Work with employees to ensure customer contacts about the closures are upbeat and focused on problem solving with a positive attitude.