Charlotte businesses try to recover after week of protests - | WBTV Charlotte

Charlotte businesses try to recover after week of protests

(WBTV/File) (WBTV/File)

Business owners woke up to the scene of smashed glass, trash in the streets, and a new reality for the city of Charlotte following protests over the fatal shooting of Keith Scott. One week later, they have a long road to recovery ahead.

“We are just waiting to breath. OK, when is it going to be over? When can we get back to normalcy? When can we get back to saving? When can we get back to doing the things we were doing?" said Adam Spears, owner of Local Loaf.

With the combination of protests and controversy surrounding House Bill 2, businesses say they have seen the lowest numbers in years. Two local restaurants report that profits over the past week are down 45-85 percent.

"We keep wondering when we are going to catch a break," said Spears. “Especially last week, we were down nearly 45%. People scared to come out, not sure to come out, when to come out.”

“Our sales were down around 85%,” said Andrew Chapman, one of the operating partners of Sea Level. “'Open for business as usual' is a ridiculous statement to make when you have soldiers with assault rifles on the corner.”

Charlotte Center City Partners says nearly 120,000 people are employed by the hospitality industry. Several owners have had to reduce staffing because the demand is simply not there right now.

“We plan our weeks and months based on those numbers and back to scheduling. We try and get these employees a living,” said Spears. “It is a very hard decision. I end up just cutting my salary when it comes in. I make it a personal thing to make sure everyone is getting their 35-40 hours a week.”

"You would think they lose two weeks of revenue. No, that is half a month’s rent in revenue,” said Michael Smith, president of Charlotte Center City Partners. “They are such a fabric of the intersection of all of our neighborhoods here in Center City.”

The exact number of lost revenue is not know at this point.

“The summer is a slower time to begin with," Chapman said, "so this all came about after Labor Day when the rest of the year should be strong."

?RELATED: How much will the protests cost the city of Charlotte? Who pays?

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