Hartford businesses worry violence will hurt the bottom line - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hartford businesses worry violence will hurt the bottom line

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Hartford businesses worry violence will hurt the bottom line (WFSB) Hartford businesses worry violence will hurt the bottom line (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Some Hartford business owners said they fear if spike in violence continues it could threaten their bottom lines.

Business owners said they aren’t just concerned with what is happening in Hartford, but they are worried about the perception that it could be creating the minds of customers.

“It makes me uncomfortable to come out here sometimes because of all the crime that's been happening,” said Ashley Ludwig of Manchester, who was enjoying time off with a friend at City Steam Brewery on Sunday.

They said the spike in homicides doesn’t make them live in fear but it has changed their behavior.

“The only difference is I probably would've walked by myself but now I'm just going to ask a friend,” said Rachel Macri of New Britain.

The city’s 20th homicide happened on Saturday evening and claimed the life of 25-year-old Devon Mitchel of East Hartford.

“I don't want the violence to keep people away,” said City Steam Manager James Flaherty, who is a Hartford native.

He said the spike in violence has not hurt business so far but he fears if the problem persists it could hurt the revival efforts in downtown Hartford.

“I love Hartford,” he said. “I want downtown to thrive and bring people back down here. Hopefully not just us but other businesses.”

He said he doesn’t believe downtown Hartford is becoming unsafe but he is concerned that if the violence continues, people who live outside the city may avoid traveling there altogether.

“I think people will stay away if this keeps up,” he said.

Flaherty added that he is cautiously optimistic because he knows homicides had been down the last few years before 2015 so he is hoping that this is just a fluke and not a bad turning point. 

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