Traders in Horncastle have issued an impassioned plea to customers during the town’s roadworks and said: “We’re open - and we need you!”
Sections of the High Street are closed off after the National Grid started a seven week programme of work to replace an outdated - and potentially dangerous - gas main.
There has been widespread discontent from business owners after East Lindsey District Council rejected calls for free car parking to be introduced on a temporary basis.
Some business also complained confusing signs were driving potential customers away.
Now, traders are hitting back and owners of the award winning Old Stables Coffee House tweeted: “We are STILL open; there are STILL places to park and we are TRYING to carry on as normal.”
Another shop owner said: “There has been enough negativity flying about.
“We need to get a positive message across that Horncastle is open for business - and we need that business.”
Shop worker Jenny Steele admitted the town was ‘quieter than usual’ last Saturday - and on Monday, the first day of half-term.
She said: “Locals are still coming into town but we’re not getting the visitors.”
Market traders have expressed concerns about the works with several claiming that takings were ‘well down’ last Thursday.
Carla Beavers said takings meant she was struggling to cover the cost of renting her ladies’ underwear stall.
A trader at a neighbouring stall described Horncastle as a ‘ghost town’ but another said it was worth putting up with the disruption, if it reduced the risk of a gas explosion.
Trader Mark Brown said he was annoyed workers had started to dig up St Lawrence Street - just yards away from his stall.
He added: “The guys are doing a good job in difficult circumstances. No-one is happy but they are in a no-win situation.
“However, try selling someone a coat with the noise of a pneumatic drill just a few feet away.”
Alan Grant, who runs the market’s gift card stall, said traders felt like mushroom. He explained: “We’ve been left in the dark - and in the muck. No-one is telling us what is going on.”
Several people contacted the News to say new road signs were an improvement and there was less congestion because of school holidays.