Many businesses in the downtown area of Columbus have been vandalized since Friday after protestors stood their ground and clashed with law enforcement. Craig Poland, who owns a business in downtown Columbus, says that it looks like someone threw a brick at one of his windows, before breaking in and stealing items.
Poland says this is the first time anything like this has happened in Columbus. On Friday and Saturday nights, protestors in the area sprayed graffiti and broke windows of various businesses. This is in retaliation to the police killing of George Floyd, who was handcuffed at the time.
Poland owns Capitol Square Printing, which has been operating as a business for more than four decades. While they have experienced the occasional vandal, they have otherwise never had a problem. Poland thought that things would abate after Friday night, but tensions rose quickly again on Saturday night.
Asking for Peaceful Protests
Kevin Boyce, Franklin County Commissioner, says that there is a deep need to have a conversation around racism in the United States. He further explains that people in all different states around the country are expressing their frustration and anger towards history, repeating itself, as more and more people are desperate for change.
Boyce was among a number of officials who called for peaceful protests on Saturday night, as well as an increase in community conversation. This month, county officials stated that racism is a public health crisis, and something needs to be done.
He says that it’s unfortunate that the destruction of people’s property has become a consequence of recent events, and believes that this kind of behavior digresses from the actual issue. He says that while his office will do everything they can to protect property and lives, they do not condone destructive and violent behavior. He is calling any protests to do so in a peaceful, constructive manner.
Many Small Businesses Affected
There are currently a lot of broken windows, as well as sign fronts scarred with graffiti. In fact, there aren’t too many storefronts that haven’t been affected by the violent protests. A lot of the graffiti carried messages such as ‘can’t breathe,’ ‘no peace’ and ‘black lives matter.’
Milestone 229 had planned to be open again on Monday. However, they now have to deal with smashed in windows, and space within the store that has been vandalized.
This type of destruction isn’t limited to downtown Columbus. There are many American cities around the nation that are being affected by the knock-on effect of police brutality in Minneapolis. People are angry, frustrated, and want to see a change in the system.
Unfortunately, many small businesses have been caught in the firing line of this ongoing societal issue. Small businesses that have nothing to do with racial tensions are having to pay out of pocket for any damage caused as protests continue in various states. In this climate, small businesses need buffers, like short term or personal loans. If you or anyone you know has been affected by the recent riots, you can search ‘what is a title loan’ for ways to help you pay for the subsequent damage.
To keep your business and your family financially secure, Google your options and discover practical ways of keeping afloat during this difficult time.