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Charlottesville businesses plan ahead of weekend rallies

(WSET)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WSET) -- The City of Charlottesville is hoping for the best but preparing for the worst ahead of this weekend's rallies.

City leaders are working with businesses in the downtown mall area to make sure those who participate are safe.

According to the Downtown Business Association of Charlottesville President Joan Fenton, the city is communicating much better compared to last year.

She said last year the police chief told her to get private security to protect the stores.

This year, things are different.

Local and state police are expected to be in the mall area to keep everyone safe after the death of Heather Heyer about a block from the mall.

About 90 percent of the businesses are expected to be open on Saturday, many making it optional for their employees to come in for safety reasons.

"This year I think there is an enhanced presence, where people feel there will be more security provided by the city, state police and anyone else who is here," Fenton said.

According to Fenton, they are asking people to support them once again through a tough time.

Last year businesses felt the impact of the August 12th weekend for about 3 months.

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