NY business owners says BLM mural hurting sales

The street art features the names of dozens of victims of police and racial violence and is stopping traffic to stores

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A Black Lives Matters mural covers Fulton St on June 14, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. This mural is similar to the mural all around the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody on May 25. (Photo by Michael Noble Jr./Getty Images)

A large Black Lives Matter mural was painted on the street in front of the historical Restoration Plaza in Brooklyn two weeks ago. The Fulton Street strip has been closed off to car traffic in efforts 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.

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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.

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.”

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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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