PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Business owners are doing what they can to protect their livelihoods, even while they support the movement for change. One business owner is hoping his message will go a long way with looters tonight and in the coming days.
The owner says he’s been in the Brewerytown location for three years and he’s hoping his business continues to survive.
It looks like the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection is preparing for a hurricane. Businesses around Philadelphia are boarded up but it’s not for Mother Nature.
“There’s no storms here. But unfortunately, the storms are coming — the people storms. We have to make sure that we do what’s necessary to protect the business,” said Osayi Osunde, owner of the Fit Academy in Brewerytown.
He supports the Black Lives Matter movement, but not the destruction of a community.
On Tuesday morning, he confronted a group of young looters.
“I came out of my studio and I said to them, ‘Did you guys just loot or hit that wine store?’ Because I saw some boxes of Franzia and some liquor on the car, and nothing, they said nothing,” Osunde said.
We’re told they never addressed the looting but what came next was worrisome.
“The kid replied back and said, ‘Oh, is that your studio? Wow, something else,’” Osunde explained.
That’s when Osunde contacted the landlord to make sure his livelihood was protected.
“I’m for the Black Lives Matter, I’m for everything that’s going on right now,” he said. “But what’s happening between this Black Lives Matter, is the protests and the riots and the looting is completely different.”
It’s not something Osunde ever expected to do but he’s hoping the words “black owned” spray-painted on his business will save it from being destroyed.
“You got to stop thinking about what your short-term gains from looting will be and realize what the actual community impact is,” he said.
Osunde says he will continue to monitor his business. The landlord has also hired security.