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Downtown San Diego small businesses board up windows ahead of election

Posted at 3:44 PM, Nov 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-03 18:44:16-05

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) - With election results ready to come out, Downtown San Diego businesses are bracing for protests. Many business owners in the area say the memories of damage when peaceful protests escalated at the end of May are still fresh, so they boarded up windows as a precautionary step, hoping it turns out to not be needed.

Related: Looters smash windows, rob stores in downtown San Diego

Aldo Broussard owns Carter’s Diamonds, a jewelry store in a jewelry exchange building that houses dozens of jewelry shops and professionals. He said they boarded up the windows at their business in May and during that time saw damage to surrounding buildings, so they boarded up windows again ahead of the election. He said they took that step to protect the small-business owners inside the facility.

“There’s a lot of jewelers in here who have basically all their life savings, all their work, all their tools and without it they can’t make a living so it’s more for protection for everybody in the building,” said Broussard.

Broussard added that he doesn’t expect protests to cause damage, but would rather be safe than sorry.

“I think overall people are good so I think it’s going to be okay. There might be a few who take advantage of the situation but I think overall it’s going to be fine,” he said.

Nearby, Sushi 2 restaurant is another small business bracing for protests or unrest this week. Kuniko Holmes is the owner and said she boarded up her windows in June after receiving some damage during downtown protests. She ended up leaving the boards up through the summer because of uncertainty of the future and also because she knew November could be a stressful month when she would have to board up again.

“I wanted to make sure so I don’t have to put it up and down and up and down because it’s work for people and also it costs. As a small business like we are, even putting the board up made it expensive,” she said.

Indoor dining was also not allowed during that time, so she ultimately decided that if the boards would be staying up through most of the year, she would make them visually appealing.

“We decided to ask local artists to put some great art as you see and it changes the dynamic of how it looks and it just looks so inviting,” she said, referencing the peace signs and hearts painted on the boards.

Other downtown businesses that boarded up windows ahead of the election include Ralphs, CVS, 7-eleven and the Church of Scientology.

San Diego County law enforcement agencies said they are not aware of any planned protests or possible unrest, but have extra staffing just in case.