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New Hartford business owners continue to cover windows and doors

Just 24 hours after that craigslist ad regarding possible protests in New Hartford went viral, business owners are continuing to err on the side of caution.

Posted: Sep 13, 2020 6:29 PM
Updated: Sep 14, 2020 10:55 AM

NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. -- Just 24 hours after that craigslist ad regarding possible protests in New Hartford went viral, business owners are continuing to err on the side of caution.

The ad was not posted by the Black Lives Matter Movement and police say they found no evidence that this ad was real.

Since that ad was posted yesterday, a few other businesses including over to A'Vitullo's Colozzi's, as well as the Olde Wicker Mill have boarded up their storefronts.  Laura Misiaszek owner of the Olde Wicker Mill tells me a group of business owners gathered and decided it was safer to board up.

"There were several of us that got together yesterday morning at the shopping center and we discussed it. Even though none of us wanted to believe anything was going to happen, we felt it was best to air on the side of caution. A lot of us have been in business for a lot of years and these are very personal for us. These are our livelihoods, these are our stores. 41 years I've put into this business and we just felt like to just take the precaution to just board up," said Misiaszek.

Some of the stores in the New Hartford shopping center didn't even bother boarding up at all. One Realty Partners was one of those storefronts. Owner David Paciello said he was confident the community would do the right thing and keep things peaceful.

"We have a lot of faith in our community. We think Utica is going to set an example for protests across the country because we feel it's important that people say what they need to say. And hopefully, change will come out of it," said Paciello.

"We decided not to board up because like what our mission statement says, do good and inspire change. We feel the community at large is seeking to pursue change and pursue something different," said Rocco Deperno.

In terms of when businesses will remove the plywood from their stores, Misiaszek said business owners tell her the plan is to do so early next week.

Some stores remain open even though doors and windows are covered.

Misiaszek said that she and fellow business owners are grateful nothing actually happened.

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