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Opinion | If we allow violent crime to negatively impact business, then all hope is lost | Otis Sanford

ABC 24 political analyst and commentator Otis Sanford shared his point of view on how violent crime affects small businesses in Memphis.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It is a shame that violent crime continues be the plague that it is in Memphis. Just look at the shooting of three boys Thursday outside the Whitehaven Library. But it is doubly shameful if we allow deadly violence to severely hurt business in Memphis – particularly small business. But sadly, that is exactly what has happened to the owners of Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies.

They have decided to permanently close their original store on Airways Boulevard – which was the site of the fatal shooting of rapper Young Dolph last November. The popular cookie store has been shut down since Dolph’s murder, and a large makeshift memorial there has continued to grow.

Store owners Pamela and Maurice Hill have been more than supportive, understanding, and patient. They have done everything possible to accommodate mourners at the memorial. After four months, clearly it was time to move on and get back to business. But instead of community support, the Hills have only gotten harsh criticism and even death threats.

This week, they made the tough decision to close for good – leaving just one Makeda’s location remaining on Jefferson Avenue Downtown. To call what’s happening outrageous is an understatement.

The way to honor Young Dolph’s life is not to permanently close the place of his death. And if we are going to allow violent crime to negatively impact business this way, then all hope is lost.

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