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Downtown businesses struggle after virus, protests

June 22,2020

Andy Peters, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

First, the coronavirus closed their businesses for weeks. Then, as they began reopening, protests led to looting and vandalism that forced another shutdown.

Three weeks after the first rallies prompted by the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd at the hands of police, downtown Atlanta business owners are trying to regain their footing.

The cost of the damage remains unknown. Business groups and insurance industry representatives said it’s too early for an accurate estimate. A City Hall spokesman said one was not available.

There are so many boarded up windows on restaurants, hotels and storefronts that an art exhibit was staged Friday on some of the plywood near the Flatiron Building.

But signs of rebirth have appeared. The Georgia Aquarium reopens Monday, and the College Football Hall of Fame will reopen July 1 with a new exhibit featuring historic black colleges and universities. Many businesses that covered windows with plywood as a precautionary measure are removing the barriers.

Here is a look at seven downtown businesses and their efforts to return to normalcy after a trying start to 2020.

Read the complete article at the link above.