Small businesses feel aftershocks of Albany riots

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Many small businesses in downtown Albany have no plans of reopening for Phase Two because of recent violence in their neighborhood.

Many business owners on Central Ave. and South Pearl Street were seen boarding up their windows after nights of riot confrontations. Small business owners say fear is in the air and afraid looters could come back.

People in the Capitol Region say they want to focus on the bigger picture. They want to continue spreading unity in a peaceful manner.

“We need a healing moment now more than ever before. We need to come together as one. We need our church leaders and our community members to come out,” said Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy.

McCoy and the Albany County Interfaith Coalition canceled their call for peace and tolerance service on Tuesday night.

Many small businesses hit by the riots are feeling the effects first hand. Keith Mahler is the owner of Maurice’s Pearl Street Deli. Mahler says he was closed for ten weeks because of the pandemic. Now he has to pick up the pieces with reopening with extensive damages.

“The damage that was done down here is instrumental. We as small business owners didn’t do anything wrong to deserve to deserve this,” said Mahler.

Chris Gallagher is the owner of the Coliseum Mall in Albany. Gallagher says his business was spared but his heart breaks for the small businesses.

“It is hard seeing owners boarding up their business when they should be opening them up again. However I think we are often resilient down here in the south end. I think we are going to surprise everybody coming back stronger,” said Gallagher.

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