DENVER (KDVR) — One takeaway for businesses after the brutal shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs has been the ever-present danger posed by someone with a gun.
“You might be in an active shooter situation, this is what you might have to do,” said AJ Shaikh, chairperson of the Colorado LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce. “It’s time for us as a community to start having those conversations.”
For businesses owned and operated by someone in the LGBTQ community, the latest mass shooting has made evident that the danger is very real and deadly.
“It’s unfortunate that we are at a time where this is the steps that we, as a business, have to do,” Shaikh said.
LGBTQ-owned businesses can face harassment
The pandemic already set many business owners back, according to Shaikh, especially those in their community.
“Rewriting their business plans, restructuring the way they do business and now we have this, it’s just an extra piece of burden and stress on the businesses,” Shaikh said.
The mass shooting at Club Q has shown that for this community, the risks of operating a business can be a matter of life and death.
This is coupled with challenges businesses already face, including getting review bombs, or deliberately bad reviews by someone whose intentions are less than noble.
“Some of our bars have had that,” Shaikh said. “They’ve had people go in just to leave lower reviews so that affects your Google ratings and whatnot. So these kinds of things happen daily, behind the scenes, that people aren’t as aware of.”
Eventually, Shaikh said, there will be guidelines for LGBTQ-owned businesses to follow, but for now, they’re processing the latest mass shooting.
“I think everyone is still grieving right now. I think everyone is still in fear so I don’t think there is a clear next step,” Shaikh said.