Fifth Avenue Businesses Start Boarding Up In Anticipation Of Election Unrest: ‘Better Safe Than Sorry’NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Businesses across the city are taking steps to secure their stores in preparation for civil unrest on Election Night.
Police are stepping up enforcement and have encouraged businesses to take extra precautions, like putting up sheets of plywood.
Business owners say they’re prepared for anything but hope the city stays calm. Stores like Saks Fifth Avenue are taking no chances when it comes to protecting their property.
“If Trump wins, probably. I mean, look how close we are to his building. If he wins, there will probably be protests,” Jason Xavier told CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge.
“I think it’s pretty unfortunate that it has come to this at this point. But I guess after everything that happened this summer, the stores just want to be prepared,” Saro Gumusyan said.
Violence and looting shocked the city in late May and June during protests following the death of George Floyd.
Now, the NYPD is encouraging store owners to board up or, at the very least, to put away their merchandise as a deterrent.
Businesses across the city are taking steps to secure their stores in preparation for potential unrest on Election Night. (CBS2)
“Better safe than sorry,” said Fifth Avenue Association President Jerome Barth. “A number of stores have also taken additional precautionary measures, such as hiring private security.”
A security guard could be seen stationed outside one Nike store, and many shops along the city’s poshest shopping street — Fifth Avenue — have hired off-duty officers to keep them safe.
The NYPD says it will also be removing trash cans along Fifth Avenue on Election Day and even suggested some Midtown restaurants remove outdoor furniture so they can’t be used as projectiles.
Mayor Bill De Blasio said Monday violence will not be tolerated.
“There’s a right way to express views and a wrong way to express views,” he said. “This city is prepared.”
Some voters said they expect the best of New Yorkers.
“I think peaceful protesting can happen. We’ll see. But I don’t think violent protesting will happen. I hope it doesn’t,” one woman said
The extra safety measures are a big expense. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars to board up a storefront.
Meanwhile, the NYPD is prepared for a number of protests that are planned as early as Monday.