Chamber of Commerce, Businesses React to Weekend Violence from Rally
Businesses on the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville and the president of the city's Chamber of Commerce respond to the Unite the Right rally, where participants and counterprotestors flooded the Downtown area.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - There’s no financial estimate for the revenue Charlottesville’s downtown businesses lost during the Unite the Right rally.
Many decided to close their doors, fearing for customer and employee safety.
John Plantz, who owns the Timberlake Drug Store, stayed open part of the day on Saturday.
“Of course business suffered immensely that day, there were some people who tried to beat the rally and come in in the morning, and because we deliver a lot of our business continued through deliveries,” said John Plantz, owner and pharmacist Timberlake Drug Store.
“I never thought that this was going to happen to begin with, I was a little bit surprised, you would think that this kind of things happen elsewhere,” said Giovnnie Sistito, owner of Vita Nova.
Other business owners were not ready to talk, saying that the events from Saturday are still raw.
The head of the city's Chamber of Commerce says that money is not an issue. He says that instead the heart of the city is what was at stake.
“The impact on businesses, while important, it is really way in the distance compared to the impact on our community. It's time for all good Charlottesville folks, regardless of political stripe to stand up and say, what we saw this weekend is not our community,” said Timothy Hulbert, president of Charlottesville city’s Chamber of Commerce.
Hulbert also mourned the loss of life on Saturday, saying that impact is far greater than any other businesses would face.