Riots and Small Businesses.
By Julia Galperin with assistance of Daniela Gonzalez
Recently, there have been some very unfortunate events. The death of George Floyd was heartbreaking and unnecessary. In response to this awful event, protests started to arise. In the peaceful protests, people are trying to convey messages about unnecessary violence and racism, that need to be heard. However, in some of the protests, there has been an uprising in the destruction of property, including buildings, cars, homes, etc. These riots have definitely taken a toll on small businesses. Small business owners are waking up to their shops being torn down. They have tried tidying up the place to restore it back to its original state, however, these businesses still sit in ruins.
Many small businesses in San Diego are currently being hit by the damage of these riots. Buxton’s business Play It Again Sports in La Mesa was found destroyed. There was broken glass and stolen merchandise. To put this destruction into the perspective of the small business owners: Buxton said, “This is my stuff! That’s my business...I put everything I had earned into this place; basically my whole life savings into this business.” Buxton had spent almost everything he had to get this business up and running and it was destroyed in an instant. It is said that Play it Again Sports suffered $200,000 in damage. While insurance will help cover some of the expenses, Buxton will not be able to regain all of what he had before. Furthermore, Wotherspoon’s business, Round Two, located on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles was also found destroyed. More specifically, Sean Wotherspoon said, “I’ve been robbed before, but nothing like this.” This really puts it into perspective for outsiders on how much these riots are affecting these small businesses. Wotherspoon not only has never faced anything truly like this but also had to watch his own store be destroyed right on his security cameras. Wotherspoon said that he saw the looters walking on Melrose Ave with over $250,000 worth of high-end fashion clothing. But this is only two examples of small businesses that have already been looted, however, this is affecting many more stores. Many of these businesses had already been struggling with the sudden change to quarantine life. One factor that will help decide if these businesses will be able to come back from all of this is their insurance policies. Many small businesses do not know what the insurance companies will cover and how much of it will be covered. Some businesses must protect their businesses with the weapons to avoid the looting. If you check out the featured about the Pushkin restaurant, you can see a picture of how they have been protecting their business from looting.
Similar to these lootings, many other American cities are experiencing similar uprisings throughout the past week. According to Marketplace.org: In Minnesota, at least 530 businesses across the state have been vandalized, looted, or burned and at least 67 have been completely burned into ashes. Along with businesses, many parts of communities have also been burned down. People need to realize that this property may be a place that someone else calls home. These properties may be the only place that someone felt safe to sleep in and now it has been brought to ruins.
We need to join together as a community to help restore these small businesses and properties that have been brutally torn down. As the actresses and actors sang together in High School Musical, “We’re all in this together,” so let’s get out there and help our small businesses.