CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s not just the pandemic that has kept some businesses closed. Last month’s looting devastated dozens of stores on Chicago’s South and West sides.
CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross revisited two neighborhoods that were hit hard and found two very different perspectives.
A shopping strip on the South Side is a good snapshot of the state of business in some areas: boarded up parts, some stores that may never reopen, but also places where business is back and hope is part of the sales pitch.
Inventory is being delivered again at the South Side’s B Fresh Clothing. Boxes are stacked up, shirts racked up and sales packed up once again.
“Thank God customers are coming back,” said owner Nate Zoubeidi, who reopened his doors only days ago. “It felt great. A lot of customers were waiting and were back in the neighborhood and were actually doing pretty good.”
But just weeks ago the same store was looted during Chicago’s unrest, with dozens taking whatever they could find in the store.
Zoubeidi said this played out in all four of his Chicago stores. The clothing losses and vandalism totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars.
However, thieves failed to take the business’ resolve.
“There’s a little bit of frustration, but everything is almost getting back to normal,” he said. “It’s going to take a while. “JB’s still shut down. The grocery store’s still shut down.”
At 47th and Calumet if there is any progress following the looting JuVon Jefferson has not seen it.
“And it is frustrating,” he said. What do we have open for us to get to? And please, some people right now are disabled and they’re not able to get to the places they need to go.”
He said his Boost Mobile store is one of only two spared in the chaos. A handful of shops in Bronzeville, like City Sports, remain shuttered.
It’s back to business for some but hardly back to normal for many going back to work.
For B Fresh Clothing, it’s unclear how much of the hundreds of thousands in losses could come out of the owner’s pockets. That will be determined by insurance, and that may take weeks.