Nearly $250,000 have been collected for the La Mesa Business Disaster Relief Fund since businesses were looted and damaged on May 30, after a peaceful protest outside the La Mesa Police Headquarters.
Money is being distributed in two phases.
The first phase of applicants must apply by midnight June 26 to be considered and receive funds as early as Monday, June 29. Phase two applicants have until July 26 to apply.
The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce Foundation launched the relief fund as a GoFundMe account and has been accepting donations from the community for about a month.
NBC 7 checked in on business owners in the La Mesa Village. Most of the plywood outside of businesses was taken down, but some businesses have not reopened to the public yet, like Pierre’s Jewelers. The jewelers were one of the most severely damaged by looters in the village.
Owners, Samir and Beatrix Farhat said they’re still waiting on replacement items to be shipped to their business.
“The front door, the security gate, the show casings, the displays, the electrical lighting,” said Samir Farhat. It has cost them an estimated $90,000 to $100,000. Beatrix Fahar said she’s eager to reopen, after having been closed several weeks before the looting, because of COVID 19.
“As soon as I have a door I can start reopening, even if my showcases aren’t completed,” said Beatrix.
Meanwhile, across the street, Amethyst Moon is back open.
“We had looters come and break the whole glass door,” said store owner Theresa Favro. “A little bit of help would be nice.”
The Farhat's and Favro are two of dozens of business owners who said they applied for funds from the La Mesa Relief Fund.
“We’re hovering right over the $250,000 mark right now,” said Rick Wilson, the president of the East County Chamber of Commerce. He said recipients can expect to receive funds as soon as Monday.
“It’s very overwhelming, the kindness and we will definitely put it (Relief Funds) to good use,” Beatrix said.
Business who have not replied, have until the end of July to apply and be considered for phase two distributions.