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Preparations For An Uncertain Election Night; 'We're Afraid. We're Losing Business'

CHICAGO (CBS) -- There's another sign of election uncertainty: businesses boarding up just in case of unrest.

CBS 2's Marie Saavedra reports from the Loop and it looks different than it did just Sunday.

In the hum of the city Monday, there was the unmistakable sound of drills on several streets. Chicago's Mayor released a safety plan in hopes of keeping this peaceful downtown this week, but many businesses have their own plans that went up on Monday.

On the mainstays of State Street, and smaller blocks in the Loop, some businesses were taking no chances. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said last week there is no known threat of unrest downtown after the election, but that's no comfort to those who've been there before.

Guillermo Salgado stopped making sandwiches to board up the windows where he works, where looters hit back in May after the death of George Floyd, and in August.

"They hit us twice already," Salgado said. "We're afraid. We're losing business. They took the safe, they took the chips, they took everything out of it."

"There are those that protest peacefully and there are those who take advantage of peaceful protest. Those who take advantage of peaceful protest are always looking for ways to still get around the system," said Rob Karr with the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.

He said these are the preparations you can see. Many of his members are working closely with CPD to stay vigilant and in communication should protests spring up.

"Some, if they can afford it, are attempting to retain some private security," Karr said.

That's expensive, in an already tough financial year, when repairs after prior looting cost some companies thousands.

"We're going to still be open. For our safety, we're going to have security," Salgado said.

But a Subway restaurant will pay it, to have that peace of mind.

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