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Posted on Fri. Aug. 01, 2014 - 08:59 am EDT

Indiana town promotes businesses during road work


CARMEL, Ind.— Indianapolis-area restaurant and shop owners say business is down significantly as construction continues on an area highway.

Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard on Thursday asked residents to eat and shop at businesses along U.S. 31 every day in August. A social media campaign to promote the challenge with the hashtag #31bites starts Friday.

The state closed part of the highway in April and says it's scheduled to reopen by Thanksgiving.

Brainard says the closure is cheaper, safer and faster than piecemeal lane closures.

Local businesses owners say it has deterred customers. Jersey's Café says it has lost more than $50,000 per month in revenue.

J Razzo's owner says the restaurant's lunch business is down 50 percent. He says people don't go where there's construction even though surrounding roads are open.

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