Downtown Raleigh businesses brace for possible protests after pandemic and summer protests

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Several businesses were seen boarding up windows in downtown Raleigh Friday night ahead of possible protests as Inauguration Day approaches. 

The CVS drug store on Fayetteville Street, which was destroyed during summer protests, started to install new windows and repair the inside Friday. However they’re not the only business left reeling from protests and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The staff at Raleigh Raw says the constant chaos makes it challenging to bring and keep shoppers downtown.

“We had to board up so many times then take the boards down then put them back up. Ever since all of the protests and even just businesses being boarded up, it’s kind of sad. Now there’s just not really people on the street anymore like Fayetteville [Street] used to have people walking up and down pretty much every day,” said Lyndsay Collins, the general manager Raleigh Raw. 

For the Subway sandwich shop downtown it’s the same story. 

“Coronavirus was a major hit, then on top of that the riots so we have not recovered,” said Rashid Salahad, the owner of the downtown Raleigh Subway.

With Wake County businesses downtown closing as a safety precaution this weekend ahead of the inauguration, Salahad says losing that foot traffic will be tough, too.

However business owners are hopeful downtown will thrive once more.

“I’m encouraging all business people in downtown Raleigh to stick together and keep their doors open and bond and help one another keep safe,” said Salahad.

A 10 p.m. curfew is still in effect in Raleigh due to COVID-19. An earlier curfew has not been announced.

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