BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More help for small business owners trying to recover from riots in Baltimore last month.
Amy Yensi with more details on the new programs.
The plan is to help Baltimore come back stronger than ever.
It will take a long time before things are back to normal for Harvey Levy.
“They took everything,” he said.
The president of Sports Mart lost thousands of dollars when looters ransacked his store during April’s riot. Cameras caught dozens rushing the Exeter Street store that had just been restocked for the summer season.
“We had a pretty big inventory. Now we have a very small inventory. We’re the store that was known for all the old stuff, and now everything we have is going to be new stuff,” said Levy.
Aside from the stolen merchandise, there’s also a loss in sales. The store has been closed during the five weeks since the unrest.
Sports Mart is one of 280 small businesses affected during the disturbance. Now the Small Business Administration is allocating federal funding to help Baltimore businesses recover.
“Our goal here today is to help those impacted by the recent unrest events and to address the hardships and hopelessness that fueled it,” said Maria Contreras-Sweet, Small Business Administration.
Along with the Disaster Loan Program, four new programs to help small businesses affected by the riot, including $1.25 million for micro loans, funding for technical and government contract training, as well as grants to bring high tech innovation to Baltimore.
A welcome sign for those still struggling to recover.
“Anything they can do for us is great,” said Levy.
The programs are already available for those who qualify. Sports Mart will reopen next week.