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Businesses struggling along Phoenix light-rail extension

PHOENIX — Many businesses along Central Avenue in Phoenix became casualties of the initial light-rail construction a few years ago.

Now, several mom-and-pop shops along the light-rail extension construction corridor on 19th Avenue from Bethany Home Road to Dunlap Avenue are concerned the same thing could happen to them.

Diana Veronda owns Lady Diana’s, a tiny bakery on the corner of 19th and Northern avenues, one of three major intersections being heavily impacted by light-rail work.

Construction has left such a mess near her store that only her most loyal customers try to get into the store.

“We’ve had customers say they don’t want to come through this area,” Veronda said.

She’s been in that spot for two years and is trying to hold on after losing a lot of business during the past three months, down about 80 percent.

One recent Saturday she took in less than $20 in donuts. She said usually she pulls in almost $500.

“I have to do discounts to get people in here, so on top of not having the revenue, i have to do the discounts.”

The light-rail extension won’t be completed for at least two more years.