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Philadelphia still offering assistance to businesses hit by September looting

Philadelphia pharmacy opts not to restock in aftermath of September's looting
Philadelphia pharmacy opts not to restock in aftermath of September's looting 05:16

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- It's been more than two months since several independent pharmacies and other local businesses were looted in North Philadelphia.

CBS Philadelphia is dedicated to these communities and we returned to get a look at the recovery of these owners both physically and mentally.

"I went to sleep on Sept. 26 thinking everything was fine," Thera Martin said. "But to wake up at 3:30 in the morning, 4 a.m. the next morning, and to see looting had happened in Center City first of all because that's where the news went first. My thought automatically went to North 22nd Street. Like, 'Oh God, are we hit?' And sure enough, we were."

Martin is the North 22nd Street Business Corridor manager. She's been helping businesses in the area for over 10 years.

Martin said eight businesses were hit by looters, who ransacked stores and left many shelves emptied.

Monday morning, pharmacy manager Charles Oppong of Just Here Pharmacy said they've been targeted three times.

"We are here because we are trying to do our best to serve the community," Oppong said. "We deliver their medication to them. They are so used to here."

His pharmacy technician, Christabel Nana, said pharmacies are being targeted. One morning just after 9 a.m., she was robbed at gunpoint by several men wearing hoods and masks.

Nana said they kept asking, "Where are the narcotics?" She replied, "We don't have it so we opened the safe for them. That was my first time seeing a real gun being hit on my head."

Just Here Pharmacy is one of several businesses that has still yet replaced their glass doors.

"There are still about three businesses that are still boarded up," Martin said. "Some have gotten glass doors replaced or the glass windows replaced, and that's a good thing. It took a little bit of time. None of the businesses were made whole right away."

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia City Department of Commerce has surveyed the area to assess the damage. Business owners were offered security cameras on the front and back of their buildings.

Martin hopes more businesses will also take advantage of grants available through the city.

If you are a business impacted by the looting on the North 22nd St. Corridor, please call (215) 226-0130 or head to the city's website for more.

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