Local businesses will have a few more months to take advantage of looser standards for temporary signs.

After some discussion, the Oro Valley Town Council voted unanimously Wednesday, Jan. 19 to keep in place a program that allows businesses to use banners and other restricted temporary signs if they prove a financial hardship.

The program, in place since August 2010, was scheduled to expire next month. The extension lasts until August or until 30 days past the approval of the town’s comprehensive sign code update.

Part of the requirement to participate in the program is to provide the town with data outlining business performance with which to measure the effectiveness of temporary signs.

“It seems clear that it did help a significant number of businesses,” Councilman Steve Solomon said.

Councilman Joe Hornat also said the program appeared successful, but that it was appropriate to let it expire.

“I think we’ve gone about as far as we can go with that,” Hornat said.

At least one participant to the program voiced concerns about the possible discontinuation.

John Piccoli, who manages the Ace Hardware at Tangerine Road and First Avenue, said the use of temporary signs has helped his business immensely.

“We’ve been able to hire people because of these signs,” Piccoli said.

The data he shared with town officials show the store had a 21-percent gross-sales increase in November and 27-percent increase for December compared to the previous year.

“If you guys want this to work, really work, give this more time,” Piccoli said.

Since implementing the program, the town has received 44 applications to participate and issued permits to 35 businesses.

Only 16 of the participating companies have provided the town with the required economic data.

Town documents show that the data received from companies indicates that 75 percent experienced an increase in business under the temporary sign program. The remaining 25 percent continued to see declines in sales.

Town officials note, however, that the data collected only shows a partial picture because many companies initiated or increased advertising campaigns in conjunction with using temporary signs.

The temporary sign program will remain in effect until at least August.

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