A few businesses on Belmont Boulevard say they’re closing their doors this week, as surrounding roads are blocked off for the upcoming presidential debate on campus this Thursday.
Proper Bagel says in an Instagram post that closing for the week is not something they can afford to do during a pandemic, but road closures mean employees and delivery trucks have no access to their building. The business says Belmont University is being “negligent and self-serving” with its handling of the debate week, pointing out that there’s no compensation for staff’s lost wages for five days during a pandemic.
PM, which serves Asian-inspired cuisine, also says it will close until after the debate.
But Belmont says it’s communicating about security with local businesses. According to the school, the boulevard will only be closed to vehicular traffic for 30 hours, and even then, pedestrians will be allowed. The university also says it’s actively promoting neighborhood businesses to media and debate guests.
“While any event of this size brings challenges and inconveniences, we have worked diligently to ensure nearby businesses could not only remain operational but benefit from the Oct. 22 Presidential Debate,” the university said in a prepared statement.
Bongo Java says in an email to WPLN News that they’re hoping to keep their Belmont location open, but it’ll “be interesting to see how deliveries, employees and customers can get to the store.”