CHICAGO (CBS) — CBS 2 has exclusive surveillance video from inside a South Side clothing store being torn apart by looters Sunday.
CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey has been monitoring the rebuild cleanup on Chicago’s South Side and asking how the city is planning to help.
Almost every business on the block on 47th Street suffered damage. Many were still working on a game plan to rebuild Monday.
Others are asking if and how the city will help them out.
The crash of glass breaking. The security alarm blared and dozens of looters climbing over each other to get to the neatly sorted piles of merchandise inside the B Fresh clothing store at Garfield Boulevard and Wentworth Avenue on Sunday.
The only things left Monday are broken furniture, shattered glass a crumpled cash register and a lot of anxiety about the future.
“What is that helping? What is that helping? Nothing whatsoever,” said Jamal Burris, the owner of Fitness Annex. “So now the community that you live in has to rebuild.”
Burris said the violent looting on Sunday was punctuated by the terrifying sound of gun shots.
“I’m literally in the car laying down thinking to myself ‘I’m never going to see my daughter again,'” Burris said.
Also in Bronzeville, Shoe Avenue was one of the only stores to survive unharmed. But on Monday night, employees unloaded every single scrap of merchandise out of the store and into a U-Haul.
Shoe Avenue owner Vince Benny said it was not safe.
Even though the move will keep the store from being able to sell anything, the owners think no business is better than being broken into.
“We’re closed right now,” Benny said. We’re doing it for precautionary reasons so that we can return to work.”
Meanwhile at Hyde Park Boulevard and Cottage Grove Avenue, it was too late or some businesses in a strip mall, which had to be boarded up after being cleaned out.
“We just remodeled a couple of days ago,” said Subway franchise owner Barth Patel. “We just opened a couple of days ago and then all of this happened yesterday.”
Patel owns six Subways restaurants across the South Side, and every single one was looted over the weekend.
“It’s going to take some time to get back to normal life after this,” Patel said.
CBS 2 wanted to know how the city is going to help businesses recovering from the unthinkable?
“When we see this destruction, what I see and what I am hearing from our business community, is that they see as the mayor very eloquently stated, their livelihoods just completely devastated,” said Rosa Escareno, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.
The department did not give many specifics on their plan to help business owners devastated by the weekend’s looting. Commissioner Escareno said they’ve dedicated an additional line of communication with the 100 or so chambers of commerce that they work with to coordinate efforts with businesses, encouraging businesses to call 311 to start the process.
As for specific funding sources for businesses that are now going to be challenged to reopen CBS 2 reached out to the city to if there are any plans. So far no response.