One by one, they arrived at their downtown businesses this week to find shattered storefronts and graffiti-stained walls.
The damage could not have come at a worse time, following a two-month closure from a pandemic and a sluggish reopening.
But these Asheville business owners chose not to cast blame or demand justice from the vandals.
They joined the cause.
Patton Avenue Pet Company owner Jenna Wilson, Hazel Twenty boutique owner Lexi DiYeso and others drafted a letter that they posted Thursday night in the Asheville Black Lives Matter Community Facebook group. It began with 20 signatures and by Saturday, 49 downtown merchants had signed their names.
“Several of our storefronts were vandalized, with the potential for more damage in the days to come. We’ve boarded up our windows and are already seeing a decline in business coming to our Downtown locations,” the letter reads.