In October, a new paid parking policy went into effect in the City of Plattsburgh; and a few business owners were worried it would have a negative impact on their business. Now a few months later, some owners said that negative impact came to fruition.

The owner of gem goddess emporium said her business has been hurt by the new policy. “During the holidays, there were a lot of people who went to the mall, owner Lorraine Martin said. “There’s no paid parking at the mall, but there is here, so I did feel it a little bit just before Christmas.”

The manager of Aleka’s restaurant shared a similar sentiment. “People expect to come have a nice meal downtown and sometimes they’re not able to because they have to pay a certain amount of money for a certain amount of hours; some people might want to stay for 3 hours so that’s another $3.50 out of their pocket, Riley Roberts said. “I see what they’re trying to do, like they do in Burlington, but I just don’t think Plattsburgh’s the place for it, it’s a smaller town.”

Martin said she bought a parking pass for herself, which are $90 for 6 month, but that’s not where the burden ends. “We have to pay for our teammates’ parking too, I can’t afford that as a business owner, I have 6+ people that work for me and that’s a lot of money for a small business,” she said.

Martin said she does pay for her employees parking tickets if they get them, but wishes she didn’t have to. Roberts said employees at Aleka’s are also faced with the financial burden.

“Everyone that works here has to pay for parking if they don’t go to the free parking down the road, everyone pretty much drives here so that’s 10-15 cars a day, everyone has to pay that, some of the waitresses that only make so much, especially on a slow week, that could be 10% of their paycheck,” Martin said.

Roberts and Martin said the city is making it more difficult for businesses to operate when they should be trying to make it easier.

Not all responses to the paid parking policy were bad, one employee of a business downtown believes most people park for free on the street anyway and hasn’t seen a decrease in the number of customers coming in to the store.