Welcome signs will soon be going up in some downtown Carlisle businesses.
The colorful, 11x17 signs read: “Hate has no business here. We respect women. We value black lives. We stand with our LGBT community members. We stand with immigrants and refugees and people of all faiths. We stand with our community. All are welcome here.”
Sarah Taby, owner of Miss Ruth’s Time Bomb on West High Street, said she first spotted one of the signs at the Alchemist, a Vermont brewery that has attracted craft beer aficionados from across the country. She had seen similar signs at other stores, but the wording on this particular sign resonated with her.
She snapped a photo and posted it to Facebook. A couple of days and comments later, she found the connection to Main Street Alliance, the organization that created the sign. Main Street Alliance is a national network that advocates for small businesses on public policy issues.
Taby ordered 20 signs from the alliance, and eight have already been promised to other downtown businesses. She is certain other businesses will post the sign, and would be happy to have to place a second order due to high demand.
Making the signs available is, in a sense, a continuation of the work Taby did in organizing business support for the recently approved non-discrimination ordinance. The ordinance makes it unlawful for anyone to engage in discrimination related to employment, housing and commercial property or any public accommodation where it is not currently prohibited by other state or federal laws.
“It’s not political. This is community. This is just caring about my neighbors,” Taby said.
There had been talk of a decal that could be used by local businesses to state that all are welcome, but nothing has yet materialized. “For me, as an individual, I don’t want to wait anymore,” Taby said.
She added that she hopes the signs will be taken at face value as a way to make members of the community feel safe and to show that they are welcome.
“I would hope there wouldn’t be any pushback,” Taby said. “When you look at that poster, you can’t help but find yourself in it.”