Downtown Raleigh businesses say damage from protests has ‘chilling effect’

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – More boarded-up windows are popping up throughout downtown Raleigh.

This comes as businesses handle the clean-up and preparation of future protests.

For the third weekend this year, protests started out peaceful and turned destructive in downtown Raleigh.

Several businesses had windows smashed. Many storefronts now have plywood in place of windows, or there for protection.

“I think it’s definitely had kind of a chilling effect on foot traffic downtown, we have to roll with the punches with that,” said John Pugh, co-owner of House of Swank Clothing. “Like everyone else downtown, we’ve had to pivot, the plywood goes up, the plywood goes down.”

Pugh decided not to put plywood up this past weekend but did come out to monitor the situation.

“It’s nerve-racking for sure,” he said.

Raleigh police arrested at least a dozen people during the protests this past weekend.

Police said the defendants caused tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage.

Pugh said he wants to focus on the positives in the community, especially since a lot of businesses are barely surviving as is with the pandemic.

“Windows can be replaced, merchandise can be replaced, that’s always been our tact, but we just want to stay here and stay in business and continue to do things in the community,” said Pugh.

He said people can help by coming downtown and supporting local businesses.

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