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Businesses on Hertel Avenue prepare for potential break-ins

Posted at 6:21 PM, Jun 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-01 18:23:03-04

NORTH BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — "Once I saw them vandalizing city hall, it was... it was just a nightmare," owner of Dress for Success Buffalo on Hertel Avenue Michelle Barron said.

And falling the fall out of last weekend's demonstration, she's said she's feeling anxious.

"I did not sleep at all. I tossed and turned all night."

That's because there was no way of knowing whether her business was a target as well.

"As soon as the band was lifted, I was in my truck, and I drove over here," Barron said. "I was just praying the entire time like, please god... just protect my business."

Fortunately, Dress for Success Buffalo was left untouched, but Barron and other business owners along Hertel decided to be proactive.

"There was basically a call to action yesterday amongst all the business owners on Hertel," Barron said. "We all decided that hey, we better protect our businesses as best as we can."

So a hand full of businesses have boarded up their windows and entryways.

"It has been an emotional roller coaster as a business owner, but it has also been an emotional roller coaster knowing why all of this is happening," Barron said.

Barron says she empathizes with the demonstrators.

"I get it. I understand. I understand it as a person of color. I understand it as an aunt of a 14-year-old nephew. I understand it as a sister of, you know, three brothers. I get it," she said.

But, as a business owner, the idea of her business getting looted or broken into doesn't sit well with her.

"This is my baby. This is my business, you know? This is you mine."

Barron says she plans to keep her windows boarded up until her shop re-opens in late June.