Looted Chicago Business Owners See Glimmer Of Hope From Generous Donors
CHICAGO (CBS) -- Yong Sup Na was getting his stores to reopen for Phase 3 amid the coronavirus pandemic, only to have not just one, but two of his small businesses looted and vandalized a week ago.
But now, thanks to a growing trend of generosity, there is hope for him to rebuild.
CBS 2's Tim McNicholas on Tuesday showed us how people in Chicago have stepped up to help business owners.
Outside the Western Beauty Supply store, you can see a message written on this wooden board – "Store empty."
If you step inside, you can see it's not much of an exaggeration.
"It used to be, you know, my merchandise - the top side," Na said.
Na said looters cleared out his shelves on Sunday, May 31. He had just stocked those shelves in preparation for his Phase 3 reopening.
Now, the cash register he was hoping to fill up is broken – but not so for his spirit.
"I want to try to open, you know? Because, I like this place – and there are good customers in this area, really," Na said.
Na not only wants to reopen Western Beauty Supply at 22 S. Western Ave. on the Near West Side, but also his other store in Bronzeville, Modern Beauty Supply at 5050 S. Cottage Grove Ave., which was also looted.
Na said he was at one of his stores that day, but had left just for his own safety – and watched helplessly from his car as looters ransacked the place.
The Na family said insurance will only cover about 25 percent of the losses.
"We never, ever in our lives anticipated that we'd encounter a situation like this," said Sandra Na.
Na and her husband have launched a GoFundMe with a goal of $250,000. As of Monday, it was at $73,000.
Na said her father, who moved to the U.S. from South Korea in the 1980s, is the hardest working guy she knows – and he wants to keep working hard.
"Everything that I have today, I've been blessed to have because of everything that he's done for my sister and I," Sandra Na said.
Another GoFundMe has been launched for the Kim family, who also had their business looted in Bronzeville and insurance won't cover it. That has raised $185,000.
And in Woodlawn, the local chamber of commerce has raised $2,000 to help small businesses that were looted like Manoro's African Hair Braiding.
"Monday, they broke my shop," said owner Jyinabu Salifu. "Somebody called me. They broke my shop."
The city is also creating a $10 million relief fund, but the Na family said with so many damaged businesses, they fear they might not get the funds they need.
But they're already getting help, not just from donors, but local volunteers who helped them clean up the mess.
"We're mentally exhausted, we're physically exhausted but we're going to keep on pushing through," Sandra Na said.
The Na family said they stand with the peaceful protesters and they are deeply disturbed by what happened to George Floyd.
for more features.