AUSTIN, Texas - An Austin-based commercial glass company has seen a 45 percent increase in work this month, as many big buildings board up in anticipation of what may happen following the election.
Snyder Commercial Glass Service has boarded up about 120 Austin businesses this year, according to president and owner Buford T. Snyder.
Snyder says that includes major retailers like the Domain, which just signed a two-year contract for a steel riot control system. His company, which serves the entire state, is seeing the greatest demand for riot and looting protection in Austin.
“Austin's a little different animal,” Snyder noted.
Businesses that Snyder's company has boarded up this week included the 7-Eleven on Eighth Street and Congress Avenue. “A lot of times when they protest they forget that protesting is a democratic right but as soon as you vandalize a business or you steal or you harass an employee, it becomes a criminal activity.” said owner Jagat Patal.
Patal, who owns several 7-Elevens said his downtown store is the only location to have been boarded up; the building's owner had it done. He feels the location is most vulnerable due to its proximity to the Capitol. Security has also been hired at the location due to rioting and increased crime as a result of the pandemic.
“I want people to know that when they do that, they're hurting local people like me. I have a family to go home to. This is my bread and butter. So they're hurting us and they're hurting our employees.” said Patal.