Businesses: Upped parade security may have hurt local sales

Posted: Updated:
CROWN HEIGHTS -

Business owners along the route of the 50th annual West Indian American Day Parade say this year's enhanced security measures may have cost them money.

Authorities cracked down on the notoriously violent pre-parade festivities of J'ouvert, moving back the start time and increasing the presence of officers in the area.

The parade runs along the Eastern Parkway and usually draws close to a million people, but this year many restaurants and shops say they didn't see much added foot traffic. At Yoon's Market, a worker told News 12 that most visitors were asking to use the bathroom and left without buying anything. Across the street, a worker at Golden Krust said it was the worst turnout in at least the last three years.

Police and the mayor say the measures paid off, with no deaths despite one stabbing and one shooting near this year's event.

Arrests decreased from 18 last year to just four this year, police say.

"We all -- between 1 Police Plaza and City Hall -- had a number of conversations to refine the plan, and we came up with the right plan," says Mayor Bill de Blasio. "I'm very satisfied."

Workers at shops along the parade route say they appreciated the added security but hope next year's parade will bring more business.

Parade organizers say the event met its goal of promoting Caribbean-American voices.

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