Atlanta — Business owners in Atlanta say that crime is hurting their bottom line.
Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston was on the scene at a city meeting on Wednesday, where city leaders worked to find a way to make it easier to shut down any business that attracts crime and violence.
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Johnny Mims owns a restaurant and lounge in northwest Atlanta, near the Atlanta University Center. In February, Mims said to Channel 2 that car break-ins and violence continue to hurt his and other businesses in the area.
“We are basically held hostage by the undesirables, the gangs and drug dealers,” Mims said. “Our business can’t thrive because of the presence that they have, the looming presence that they have.”
Currently, it takes several months to shut a business down, but Mims says in that amount of time, someone could be killed.
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The interim police chief and the city solicitor committed to working with the Fulton County District Attorney to speed up that process. Similar to how they were able to shut down Encore Hookah Bar & Bistro in April after a number of reports of violence and shootings.
Police were called to the downtown Atlanta establishment 150 times in two years.
The city’s public safety chairman says they had this workshop to create legislation that will stick, and nuisance businesses won’t be able to find a way to work around it. The legislation will head toward a committee vote next week to decide on a nuisance business ordinance.
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