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Biden inauguration security after Capitol chaos forces DC businesses to close: 'It's difficult'
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President-elect Joe Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration and the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol have brought intense security measures to Washington, D.C., leading some small businesses to close for the week and beyond.
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D.C. authorities are working with federal officials to keep the city’s downtown area under a tight lockdown to prevent a repeat of Jan. 6 or any other security threats as the president-elect is sworn into office.
A number of normally busy streets from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol and beyond are closed and blocked with barricades, and thousands of National Guard troops from states across the country are assisting with security.
“This week, in particular, there are a lot of businesses that have boarded up in preparation for the week,” Jessica Swan, manager of Pi Pizzeria in Penn Quarter, told FOX Business. “With the National Guard present, foot traffic is a little light. But if we rewind back 30 days, in the beginning of December, you saw people walking around in the neighborhood. You saw more foot traffic than what we had seen earlier in 2020.”
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Tourists are still in the area, too, trying to “do the best they can with what's open and available,” she said.
Pi Pizzeria, a restaurant specializing in pizza and craft beer with one location in D.C. and one location in St. Louis, has no plans to close during the week of the inauguration, but final decisions are still up in the air.
“We’re all collaborating,” Swan said in reference to other small businesses in the area, some of which have changed their hours or closed. If “everyone” in the neighborhood closes, Pi Pizzeria will “have to question why they’re doing that” and reevaluate its plan.