Businesses prep for possible Election Day reaction

Business owners across metro Atlanta are prepared for what could be a tense Election Night as threats on social media begin to circulate.

The Nordstrom Rack, Ulta Beauty, and several other businesses in Buckhead Station have boarded up their windows and doors.

“Windows were broken. All the windows on Peachtree Street were damaged and broken with the door,” Janice Wilbourn said.

Janice Wilbourn owns ‘Wilbourn Sisters Designs’ on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta.

Her store was damaged during the George Floyd protest.

The protest left her with several thousands of dollars in damages.

“Our windows are boarded up also and we will continue to leave them boarded up because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring,” Wilbourn said.

She’s just one of many local business owners who have boarded up ahead possible Election Night reactions.

“You’re hurting yourself if you hurt us. We are here for you,” Wilbourn said.

From Downtown to Buckhead many stores at ‘Buckhead Station’ are boarded up.

One employee said she’s nervous about several threats floating around on social media threatening violence and vandalism.

“It’s ranging from general anxiety to fear from some people,” Dale Brooks said.

Dale Brooks works with Security Company Hawque Protection Group and said they have between 60-80 people working various businesses, residential communities, and events on Election Night.

“We are asking them to do everything like board up but remove things of value from businesses that would be vulnerable to theft or vandalism,” Brooks said.

Atlanta police said they are prepared for large events or protests related to the election but didn’t elaborate on those plans.

Brooks said residents and business owners shouldn’t live in fear but should make sure to have a plan.

“Now is definitely the time to come up with a plan. Think and rehearse it with your business. Sometimes it’s just as simple as where would you go if a negative situation were to spill onto your residential street or your business,” Brooks said.