SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – After months of waiting, a group of small Santa Fe businesses is finally getting answers about what happened to roughly $1,600 the group spent on street banners that were never made.

Dozens of businesses along Guadalupe Street in Santa Fe banded together in 2019 to raise funds for more than 20 neighborhood banners to be placed on light poles along the street.

A buyer and marketer for the “On Your Feet” shoe store and “Get it Together” clothing boutique, Lance Blankenship helped spearhead the banner effort, which began in late 2018.

“The local community knows us, but we’re trying to reassess and redefine the area right next to the Rail Yards, they’ve got all the money, all the marketing,” Blankenship said of the project. “We want to be part of it and we think a banner to highlight the district is a good first start.”

Around 45 of the roughly 60 businesses along Guadalupe Street got involved in the branding effort, which Blankenship and others hoped would draw more customers to their street.

“Kind of create some identify for the district,” said Blankenship.

While a final banner design was chosen and approved by Santa Fe City Council in 2019, the banner holders all along Guadalupe Street still remain empty. Blankenship says the vendor that was contracted to do the work never completed the job.

“Late August, I gave him the ($1,600) deposit check and that began the ride,” Blankenship said.

Blankenship told KRQE News 13 the vendor, Santa Fe’s “FastSigns” cashed the check in August. Shortly after, Blankenship says he began to have trouble reaching the owner of the FastSigns business, David King.

“The answers became fewer and far between,” Blankenship said. “Multiple times I requested a refund so that we could start from scratch.”

Blankenship says he and other Guadalupe Street businesses didn’t hear anything directly from King or the Santa Fe FastSigns from November 2019 until February 7, 2019.

Minutes after KRQE News 13 called King at FastSigns on Friday afternoon about this story, Blankenship received an email from King and the business saying the long-awaited $1,600 dollar refund for the banners is now in the mail.

“Well, I will believe it when I get the check, it is a relief that it seems like we’re going in the right direction,” said Blakenship.

Despite major delays, Blankenship says the banner effort is still something the Guadalupe Street shops want done.

The owner of the Santa Fe FastSigns, David King, declined an on-camera interview with KRQE News 13 Friday. However, said the lack of communication on the banner project was due to health and family problems. King also apologized for the incident, saying he hopes the refund resolves the situation.