Retailers hit by downtown construction get boost

Downtown retailers who have been complaining for months about the noise and detours that construction has caused got some good news today.

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation announced that it would give out $5 million in grants to ground-floor businesses that have lost sales because of the construction. Gov. Eliot Spitzer acknowledged projects such as the Fulton Street Transit Center have a downside.

SPITZER: “We know that the construction process itself also exacts a cost and a price on surrounding businesses.”

REPORTER: Grants of up to $25,000 will be available on a rolling basis to qualified businesses. The first businesses will begin receiving checks in a couple of weeks, according to officials.