Downtown Syracuse business struggling to recover after violent protests Saturday

Local News

SYRACUSE N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Some downtown Syracuse businesses are still cleaning up after protests turned destructive Saturday night, including Ambition Upstate, which was supposed to reopen tomorrow.

The owner, Nick Giarrusso, now fears the 10 plus years he’s put into the business may have been destroyed in one night.

Eight security cameras put Giarrusso on high alert Saturday night. “My ADT giving me 15 notifications within 30 seconds,” he said. In a matter of minutes — at least $5,000 of inventory was stolen and his store windows were shattered.

shattered window from violent protests

“If there’s a lot more inventory stolen than what I think was stolen, I might never recover from this,” said Giarrusso.

Giarrusso already survived a few months with no income because of the COVID-19 pandemic but this hit is something he really wasn’t prepared for.

Whoever did it, you hurt the community as well. There’s a lot of young kids that came into that shop that didn’t wanna sit home with their home lives that came into that store just to sit down and talk to me. You ruined that for them. You ruined a spotlight for one of your best friends that has a clothing line that needs an outlet of a store to put his clothing, you ruined that. You ruined your aspiring friends rapping career, or musical career, you ruined all of that.

Nick Giarrusso, Ambition Upstate owner

He’s devastated. He’s hurt for the kids who need him as an outlet and the local artists who also use his shop as a platform for their work, and he’s angry for those who feel unsafe simply because of the color of their skin.

I don’t care if you’re white, black, green, purple, the color of the rainbow. I don’t care if you’re seven feet tall or three feet tall.

Nick Giarrusso

Giarrusso continued to say: “What you look like doesn’t, I don’t pass judgment on that. How I judge people is, I judge people off their character, off your energy, off your mindset, that’s how I judge people.”

He still feels for our hurting community and he’s still hopeful Syracuse can create change without taking down its local business owners.

“Syracuse is great, we’re all great we just gotta come together, we’ve got to stop dividing,” Giarrusso said.

Even though his shop had been physically and financially damaged, Giarrusso’s love for the Salt City is something that can’t be shaken.

Syracuse made me who I am. I wouldn’t be who I am without Syracuse. I still love my city, I still have the utmost respect for my city. I love everyone in my city.

Nick Giarrusso

Giarrusso still has to go into the store and do a full inventory review before he’ll know the exact amount of loss, and that could take weeks.


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