Many businesses in Southern California were still busy trying to recover from coronavirus shutdowns, but now many of them are facing yet another hurdle: recovering from being looted.
While most of the protests were peaceful last week, some looters took the opportunity to break into stores on Melrose Avenue, at The Grove, in Santa Monica, and elsewhere. One of the many small businesses hit was Sunny Optometry in Santa Monica.
On May 31st, only two weeks after reopening, the team at Sunny Optometry was hit by looters that "destroyed all that our team has built since 1985."
"Amid the start of a protest in downtown Santa Monica, all day we helplessly witnessed our life’s work vandalized, stolen, and burned," Dr. Sun and Dr. Sjolund wrote to their clients. "The looters were so thorough they stole everything including receipt paper, pennies, and lint in our drawers before setting it all ablaze. We are eternally grateful for the brave police and firefighters who managed to mitigate the damage and prevent the office from becoming a pile of ash."
But it's still unclear how much the state of California will supply in public aid for businesses that were looted...
“We’re here to help even in these tough moments,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said during a recent daily briefing.
That's great Mayor Yoga Pants, but how???
Garcetti said that he has a proposal for the City Council that requests "additional financial assistance directly to businesses so that they can bring employees back." Until then, many businesses are having to rely on GoFundMe accounts and help from the community to get back on their feet.
"Sunny Optometry is independently owned, and our team greatly appreciates any assistance as we try to rebuild during these unprecedented times," they added.
Read more about how businesses are trying to recover on the Los Angeles Daily News.