NewsLocal News / June 5, 2020

Downtown Businesses Deal With A Double Hit

Downtown Comics invited local artists to paint the boarded up windows. - Jill Sheridan WFYI

Downtown Comics invited local artists to paint the boarded up windows.

Jill Sheridan WFYI

Many Indianapolis downtown businesses are suffering.

A majority of businesses in the heart of downtown Indianapolis are boarded up, including Downtown Comics. Owner Doug Stephenson invited local artists to add art to the boards covering windows that were smashed out Saturday night during violence that broke out following the day's peaceful protests against police brutality and racism.

Stephenson spent the past few days cleaning tear gas residue off of his comics.  He says it’s a lot. 

"Figure out how we’re going to come out of the already bad situation with no money from the pandemic because we’ve all shut down for six to eight weeks," says Stephenson. 

Marion County stores and restaurants had expected to welcome people back at 50 percent capacity this week. Owners say they support the peaceful protesters. 

George Stergiopoulos owns Giorgio’s Pizza, next door to the comic store, and says they would like more in-person support from city officials.  He says if he were mayor, he take a different approach. 

"I can tell you, I’d be walking these streets up and down to comfort people and look how we can help folks," Stergiopoulos says.

Stephenson reiterates the lack of communication.

"We just haven’t heard anything," says Stephenson, "The mayor hasn’t had one conference that I’ve seen.  I definitely haven’t seen him up on the steps in front of the protestors who have legitimate beefs they want to make."

City-County Council Presidents Vop Osili did meet with some business owners this week.


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