Shop owners in the 800 block of Main Street are being pro-active as work has moved into the final stages for the new Veterans Park in downtown Van Buren.

Parking has become a problem as improvements have begun on drainage, curb and guttering and sidewalks.

“For a small business it is a frustration when your customers have difficulty with parking, which sometimes results in lack of business and loss of income,” said Debbie Foliart of Chapters on Main.

“However we have tried to offset that with being pro-active and offering our Back Porch entrance to not just our customers but those of anybody entering the 800 block,” Foliart said.

Carol Ann Folsom of the Soap Factory spent the weekend painting messages on the tunnel in front of the former Cottage Cafe that the businesses in the 800 block are open and parking is available at rear entrances off Webster Street.

“We love progress and know the Veterans Park is going to be beautiful,” Folsom said. “But, we need some help getting the word out that we are still open during the construction.”

If customers call, the Soap Factory will deliver, she said.

Polish Pottery and Renee Barrow Insurance customers also can take advantage of the Webster Street parking and back-door entrances, Foliart said.

“We are all in this together,” Foliart said. “We understand that progress comes with sacrifice along the way. We are very excited about our new park across the street and the possibilities that brings to not only Van Buren but to our business.”

Chapters on Main also has a construction reduction by offering 10 percent off any purchase.