By Edgar Diaz, Staff Writer
After three months of social distancing and the shutdown of non-essential business, many were looking forward to the beginning of phase 3 reopening of non-essential business in Chicago, only to be faced with broken glass, and missing inventory as looters struck during the George Floyd protests and demonstrations.
Covid-19 social distancing required all non-essential businesses to shut down, already dealing a blow to small businesses that rely on a daily stream of local customers, and/or are unequipped to provide online shopping options.
The week the protest started happened to align with Mayor Lightfoot’s reopening plan phase 3. Chicago’s phase 3 reopening plan includes: outdoor dining services, non-essential retail business, personal care and service business (barbershops, nail salons), etc. But all businesses that reopen will have to do so with a limited capacity, and following guidelines. Other businesses that are under consideration for reopening are gyms, religious service buildings, and the lakefront.
Amidst the past week during Mayor Lightfoot’s attempts to reopen the city, the tragedy and protests for George Floyd have been hijacked by looters and opportunists that have used this civil unrest as an opportunity to loot stores and business. As major retailers make the needed preparations and rebuilding efforts to reopen, small locally owned businesses lack such support, though Mayor Ligthtfoot has pledged 10 million to rebuild small business, affected by looting and rioting.
If you wish to donate to rebuilding efforts to looted businesses and your neighborhood, consider visiting the following sites to see what you can do:
My Block My Hood My City is looking for volunteers to help with graffiti removal and repair small businesses that have been looted, as well as donations to rebuilding efforts.
The following GoFundMe accounts are also recommended for supporting small businesses that have been looted: South Side Relief Fund ,Save the West Side, Chicago, Help for small businesses in urban communities, Black-Owned Business Looting Assistance Relief.
The Chicago Community Trust is a philanthropic organization seeking donations to rebuild small businesses.