I feel for these business owners who have seen their livelihoods destroyed. I wonder how many of them supported the lefty city politicians who shut down their local economy and then stood by while the rioters destroyed their businesses.
A coalition of State Street businesses pleaded with the city on Monday to improve safety, offer subsidies to attract new businesses and to temporarily convert the street into a pedestrian mall.
In a letter to the city titled “Save State Street” and signed by “your concerned local State Street business and property owners,” the group, which had been meeting for nearly two weeks, also encouraged the city to fund programs to increase the number of Black and other minority-owned businesses; add more security cameras, remove rocks from planters and to replace the glass at the now boarded up visitor center adjacent to Lisa Link Peace Park.
The list of 19 requests come in the wake of closures due to COVID-19 followed by rioting and looting during protests over the killing of George Floyd. Business owners say they fear for their safety, haven’t been listened to by the city and worry about the street’s vibrancy as several businesses have indicated they may not return.
A major issue revolves around the presence of police, something the street has lacked in recent weeks, according to business owners.
“We have heard continuously that people, regardless of race, age, sex, etc., do not feel comfortable or safe on State Street with the current state of affairs,” business owners wrote. “That perception is unlikely to change unless the city actively works to change it. Neighborhood officers should be peacefully present, walking State Street and pleasantly interacting with people in an attempt to rebuild relationships and trust with community members.”Verveer, who represents much of the downtown, said Monday that he is not surprised by the letter and is “appreciative” of the list of the requests. He was asked by the merchants several weeks ago if it would be helpful if they made a list of concerns and offer ideas to address the issues on the street that normally gets millions of visitors a year. The letter is absent names of business owners.