NEW YORK (AP) —
Looting and vandalism in cities across the country have dealt another blow to small businesses that were already reeling from the coronavirus outbreak.
Along with big chain stores like Target, Walgreen and Macy’s, independent retailers in neighborhoods and downtown sections were targets of vandals and looters who struck as police mobilized to contain large demonstrations over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Many businesses had been closed by state and local government orders as officials tried to contain the spread of the coronavirus, leaving owners with little or no revenue since March. Now, already facing an uncertain future amid ongoing restrictions related to the virus, owners must figure out how to rebuild or relocate their companies.
Over three nights, Ahmed Muhumud’s Minneapolis optician shop was vandalized, looted and burned, leaving Midtown Eye Care in ruins. The store was just getting back to business after having been shut since mid-March by the virus outbreak.
“This has been a difficult couple of months, and now with the protesters and everything that followed — it’s very difficult,” Muhumud said.