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Businesses in downtown Indianapolis board up windows, prepare for possible Election Day unrest

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Many businesses in downtown Indianapolis took the weekend to board up store windows preparing for a week of uncertainty ahead of Election Day.

My Eye Doctor on the southwest side of Monument Circle started putting up boards on Friday and on Sunday Huntington Bank on Pennsylvania Street was finishing their boarding precautions. Both businesses suffered extensive damage during the May riots after the death of George Floyd.

But some businesses are struggling to make the decision.

“I don’t think I can remember a time where we didn’t have a clear winner and yeah, that frightens me,” said Danielle Cooney who is the general manager of Soupremacy on East Market Street.

Cooney says she will make the call to board up on Monday as the process is laborious and she’s reliant on when she can get help, Still, boarding up her store isn’t something she wants to do.

“I don’t like the way it looks, the way the city looks. It gives an impression that we’re not safe and I don’t think that’s true,” said Cooney.

Cooney also adds that she likes working in a place with light coming in and doesn’t want her customers feeling dark, especially this week. But her fear is that the election gets so heated and emotional that some people could take action.

“I have to make the decision that’s best for my stuff and my store, and I do think that will be boarding up at some point,” Cooney said reluctantly.

Cooney also says businesses have been talking to each other and Downtown Indy to see what they are doing and advising and while she says police have told her they don’t believe there will be civil unrest on election day, she says she doesn’t believe that its going to stay that way.

“I am prepared for it and I’ll be prepared all week,” she added.