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Business Improvement District helps business owners clean up following protests

Many stores and restaurants across Washington, DC have been boarded up after rioters broke into their stores earlier this week.

WASHINGTON — Many business owners are still cleaning up from looters who broke into stores during the last few nights of protests. One area that was hit hard by recent protests was near Farragut Square, north of the White House.

The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District has been helping businesses with the lengthy cleanup process.

Leona Agouridis, the Executive Director for the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District, said 16th to Connecticut Avenue and H street to L street suffered a lot of damage. In addition, some businesses were vandalized several nights in a row.

"It was the neighborhood unlike any time I’ve seen it before," said Agouridis

Agouridis has been with the Business Improvement District for nearly 14 years. 

"We’ve seen a lot of history, we’ve been able to witness all types of public gatherings, we have witnessed large celebrations when our country celebrated things like inaugurations over the last 14 years. We’ve witnessed state funerals and the mourning and we’ve witnessed so many protests," said Agouridis.

Credit: Nicole DiAntonio

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Agouridis said they have spent the last couple days helping business owners pick up the glass from the sidewalks and remove graffiti from the buildings.

"A big part of our mission is to make this neighborhood as welcoming as we can for people. That means making it beautiful and clean so this was in many ways an extension of our regular duties," said Agouridis.

One local restaurant owner even offered some inspiring words on the door of their boarded-up restaurant. On Thursday, many people stopped to take pictures of the front door of Lebtav which read "our doors are closed but our hearts remain open."

Agouridis said she has been inspired and hopeful seeing the peaceful protests in recent days. 

"We had so many people here and it was peaceful and people exercised their right to speech which is what this area, this neighborhood, this city and so many Americans are about. It was very inspiring to see that," said Agouridis.

To learn more about the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District, click here.

Credit: Nicole DiAntonio

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