Summit is bad news for some business owners - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Summit is bad news for some business owners

June 7, 2004

Savannah-- This time of year, Savannah is usually crawling with tourists. Not so this week though. In fact, even the locals are laying low because of the threat of danger associated with the G8 summit.And that's bad news for business owners.

It's breakfast at B. Matthew's Bakery & Eatery and there's no one here to eat it.  "My business is 60 percent down," says owner Charles Becton.

Because of the G8 summit, B. Matthew's customers are no-shows. "We usually have 25 or 30 people in here. Everybody is scared and gone away."

Away from downtown Savannah where police and national guard troops stand on every street corner. "Most of my neighbors, the people that would normally stop here in the mornings, they're afraid of terrorism."

The fear of terrorism that even kept local churchgoers out of downtown Savannah Sunday. "They come down here for church and they come over here to eat. But now they're not. You know, they're not even coming downtown," said Becton.

And an empty downtown, means an empty restaurant for Charles Becton. "It'll be that way all week, but we're going to stay open."

He'll stay open for customers like Bill Dorroh. "I want to live a normal life. I don't want this threat to interfere with anything I do as a free American."

An American who's loyalty is what keeps businesses like B. Matthew's going. Loyalty that's being returned by this coffee and pastry. "There are customers who are here everyday and we don't feel it would be beneficial to close and leave them without anyplace to go."

Becton said he might consider closing early in the afternoons if business doesn't pick up but he's committed to at least showing up and making the coffee every morning.

posted at 6:50PM by dave.miller@walb.com