Phoenix, AZ – When lockdowns were implemented, many small businesses suffered, even if they were permitted to remain open. Some have closed down permanently.
A few small businesses thrived—such as pizza takeaways—and Ned Binney, a laundromat owner in Phoenix, was pleasantly surprised that his business was one of these that did.
“At first, I was worried,” said Binney. “Laundromats are essential services so I remained open but I thought if people are going out less, they would have less need to wash their clothes.”
That was true to an extent, but then other patrons walked in. “One day, this white guy came in pulling a small suitcase. When he opened it, instead of clothes, it was wads of paper. At first, I thought it was cash but then they looked like voting ballots or something like that. He just washed them and left.”
But it didn’t stop there.
“In the following weeks, mostly men—looked Chinese, and a different person every time—came in with the same suitcase. Sometimes, they didn’t wash the ballots and simply stashed them in the lockers.”
Binney eventually reported this to the authorities but “by the start of November, they all stopped coming.”
Local law enforcement agencies have not responded to calls for comment.
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