Racist vandalism drives small business owner to leave

Angola, Ind. (WANE) – An Angola business owner is planning on moving out after a string of racist attacks.

Erlinda Inniss moved her life and business to Angola, opening on June 27 last year. She says she felt “called” to be there.

Now she is moving her family and her business elsewhere.

Monday, she walked into her business “Willow Tree Shoppes” to find racist slurs graffitied onto the floors, walls, and shelves.

“I can’t walk in here anymore and not see this,” she said.

The community she is planning to leave rallied around her after Monday’s events.

“It broke my heart that a business in our community, that’s a small business, had this happen to them,” said Sarah Dowd, owner of Angola’s Jimmy Johns.

Dowd and hundreds of others have shown support on social media, and by donating money to a GoFundMe set up for the Inniss family and their business. Others even hand-made signs in support and put them on the business Tuesday morning.

Angola Mayor Richard Hickman expressed that occurrences like this, no matter how few of them there are, are a big problem.

“You know I’m not going to say we’re as pure as the driven snow up here, every community has got somebody… even with a one-off problem, you have a problem.”

Mayor Richard Hickman

Overall Mayor Hickman says that the “somebody” who did this does not represent Angola as a whole. The positive feedback and generosity shown does.

The shop currently has a GoFundMe * up to help fund the cleanup and other financial losses.

The Angola City Police Department is investigating the incident and has no updates as of Tuesday morning.

*WANE.com does not assure that the monies or donations deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a donation, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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