Among the many moving parts of VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Phase II Extension Project (BSVII) are meticulous plans to support small businesses who may experience some disruption during construction of the biggest transportation infrastructure project in Santa Clara County history.
While the start of major construction is still a year away, the BSVII project team is working hard to find ways to make the process as pain-free as possible for small businesses along and near the BART alignment from 28th Street in San Jose to Santa Clara.
Although most of the work will occur behind construction fences, there will be increased truck traffic and sidewalk and parking restrictions when construction starts. To help alleviate the disruption to businesses, VTA developed a Business Resource Program (BRP) to better support our small business community during the construction period. This program will focus on small businesses who often rely on foot traffic, such as "mom-and-pop" eateries and shops.
Plans call for the Business Resource Program to start before construction begins, and includes four main elements:
- "Shop Local" marketing is a branded strategy to promote local businesses in the area.
- Signage and Wayfinding will help direct patrons to small businesses and be coordinated with other construction and wayfinding signage.
- Small Business Resource Connections and Support will provide a range of services and training to help businesses improve their resiliency.
- Direct Financial Assistance program will provide targeted grant funding to eligible small businesses who have directly experienced construction-related business disruptions.
Additionally, a multi-lingual Business Liaison Team will address overall business support and outreach efforts by serving as a direct communication resource between VTA’s BSVII project team and the community.
The BRP was developed in coordination with VTA’s BSVII Small Business Task Force, the City of Santa Clara and San José, and it incorporates the many lessons learned from projects built around the country.
We hope these initiatives will help our community during the necessary construction period. And we are confident in the tremendous benefits of this transit infrastructure investment and added public transit access.
Stay tuned for more about the VTA’s BSVII Business Resource Program, including discussion at the upcoming VTA Board of Directors meeting on June 16, 2023.