Many of the businesses in the area where two white nationalist rallies are expected to happen next Saturday will be closing their doors. Most of the establishments affected are small, private businesses, like hair salons and real estate offices.
Though most shops — and employees — can’t exactly afford to miss out on one of the busiest days of the week, it is partly fear of violence that has led many to make the hard decision to close up shop. That is according to community organizers who’ve been canvassing the area since the announcement about the rally was made.
Volunteers with "Shelbyville Loves" and "Murfreesboro Loves", two community groups created to unite neighbors and other locals in non-violent counter action, say they've visited every business in the vicinity of the two events, which are slated to happen one after the other.
David Clark with the Shelbyville group says every owner he spoke with let him place a special poster on their window. He says the signs are used to signify their support for all members of the community. The bigger businesses, like franchises and national chains, said they could not participate. It is unclear whether they will remain open.
A recent announcement by local police that they would be closing down surrounding streets means that even if they wanted to remain open, most wouldn’t have any business, except maybe from the protesters themselves.