Small business owner says protests are hurting wrong people - KMOV.com

Small business owner says protests are hurting wrong people

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Several businesses boarded up and closed after the verdict was announced Friday. (KMOV) Several businesses boarded up and closed after the verdict was announced Friday. (KMOV)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Small business owners and workers are speaking out about the impact of the protests that have taken place in the wake of the not guilty verdict of former St. Louis Police officer Jason Stockley.

Several businesses on North Tucker boarded up and closed after the verdict was announced Friday. Cellphone store manager Sha Lawson said they lost hours and income when the store was closed.

"I don't want to go home, I got a son, I got to feed him." said Lawson.

Hotels, restaurants and bars were counting on a getting a lot of business from the tens of thousands of music fans who were expected to come to St. Louis for the U2 concert on Saturday and the Ed Sheeran concert Sunday. 

Missouri Bar and Grill owner, Louis Panopoulos, said he hired extra workers to serve the big crowds he was expecting but had to call and tell them to stay home after the concerts were canceled.

Panopoulos said, "I had to lay people off because I don't have any business. So that's the kind of impact, I think it's affecting the wrong people."

According to police, vandals damage 23 businesses in the Delmar Loop Saturday night following peaceful protests. Jessica Bueler, who owns HSB Tobacconist, said her spirits are lifted by the outpouring of support and help cleaning up on Sunday. But she worries about the long-term impact of the damage.

 "It does make us think what will be the social impact on the Delmar Loop, what will be the economic impact," said Bueler.

News 4 asked protest organizer Reverend Darryl Gray about these concerns and he said businesses and workers should share the burden of bringing about change.

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