First came a pandemic. Then, looting. Small businesses pick up the pieces as their debt mounts

Salih Mothana came home so quietly after he surveyed the damage to his small grocery store in Chicago that his family had no idea their business had been destroyed. Looters had raided the family store after a night of peaceful protests against police brutality ended with pockets of destruction last weekend.

“I understand why it happened, and it’s OK,” Mothana, a Yemeni immigrant, said in Arabic as his daughter translated. “It’s not like I have to blame someone for this. I understand why this happened. If it sends out the message, it doesn’t matter to us.”

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