Columbia Businesses Attempt to Curb Violence

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COLUMBIA - In response to a summer of shootings, local businesses are raising money Friday to help prevent future violence.

The Blue Note partnered with United Way to host a "Silence the Violence" benefit concert. Blue Note owner, Richard King, said he thinks violence has negatively impacted many downtown businesses.

"We strive to make this a safe environment for people to come down and have a good time," King said. "And I think the worst thing that could happen would be to scare people away."

People downtown agreed and said they thought Columbia had gotten more violent over the summer.

"There's obviously been a lot of violence lately, especially in downtown Columbia," Nicole Baker said, who was shopping downtown. "I think it's great that businesses are trying to help stop it."

The money raised during the benefit will go to United Way, and will be spent on outreach for teenagers.