On May 25th, 2020 a 46 year old male, George Floyd, had been murdered by a police officer during an arrest for using a fake $20 bill. After this incident many riots and protests started splurging in Minneapolis and St. Paul, leading many stores to get looted or destroyed, and many others shutting down frantically in fear of getting looted or destroyed.
Padao Yang, the owner of an alteration shop in Harmar Mall, had made an ultimate decision to close down her shop after being informed by one of the mall cops that the mall would undergo a lockdown due to the protests that took place the day before.
On this day Yang had brought three of her children with her. Many thoughts came to her mind but her decision was, “Safety first. I told the kids to pack up, we were leaving”. She also included, “Because I had my kids with me, my initial thoughts were keeping them safe. I made the executive decision to close and leave. I also thought that the mall would be targeted next as it’s a mall and located near Minneapolis and St. Paul”.
She had a customer that she had to meet up with at a different location since the mall was in a lockdown, but many other stores around them were closing as well. “One of my customers couldn’t come in so we scheduled to meet at a Hyvee grocery store only to find out that the parking lot for the store was blocked off, ” Yang reports. They ended up meeting at a gas station across the street; The station wasn’t closed but every store around it was. There were signs on their doors saying they had been closed for the day due to the protests.
Yang’s business had already been affected by the pandemic. The riots of George Floyd’s death had made it worse: “ The riot prolonged the reopening of small businesses but safety comes first”. The riots and protests were scaring for many owners of small businesses because of the threat caused by looting of many other big stores such as Target. Yang says, “I was actually afraid to open again so I waited until the matter calmed down”.
The riots and protests have been successful in a way of receiving justice for George Floyd’s death, but not successful at all for any of the owners of small businesses already hurting during these times.