A large Black Lives Matter mural painted on Fulton Street in Brooklyn two weeks ago. The strip has been closed off to car traffic to preserve the art and inspire foot traffic.
However, small businesses located along the strip are saying that the street closure is hurting their sales.
A report from News12 says that the Bed-Stuy Business Improvement District is reporting that businesses along the strip where the mural was painted are reporting losses from 25 to 50%.
Judy Teko is the owner of J and K Beauty Supply, in the report she said, “We like it, but if you could just open the street so that we can live our normal life?” She said that customers are opting to go to other businesses instead of parking and walking.
Another business owner along the strip said that it’s best customers drive and that they need somewhere to park.
Councilman Robert Cornegy, who worked for the creation of the mural, said that he is working community organizations to increase foot traffic in the area. He hopes that the increased foot traffic will lead to an increase in sales.
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The Billie Holiday Theatre teamed up with Council Member @rcornegyjr to organize the first BLM mural in NYC in front of The Billie Holiday Theatre. “We are at a watershed moment as a country, no…as a globe, coming to terms with the historic and pervasive racial inequities that have plagued our world for far too long and brave women and men across fields of endeavor who have contested the age-old adage “Quiet as it’s kept”, to end centuries of silence and baptizing us in their chorus of ‘Black Lives Matter.’” @iamindira7 and @iamkennyleon
A post shared by Indira Etwaroo (@iamindira7) on Jun 14, 2020 at 4:57pm PDT
He told CBS News that he hoped that “this would be a plaza where we can come and gather, and really have conversations about the future. And really just a focal point for the change that we seek.”
The street closure has also affected a bus route. Buses are being diverted from the area, the MTA said, “We’re very supportive of the City’s tribute and are working to mitigate any impacts to customers to the degree possible.”
Dozens of artists and local volunteers worked together to paint the Bed-Stuy piece two weeks ago. Dr. Indira Etwaroo, the executive artistic director of the Billie Holiday Theatre, helped coordinate the project.
The mural also features the names of dozens of victims of police and racial violence, including Emmett Till.
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