It has been one hell of a crazy year. At first we're on the brink of WWIII, and now we have a major insurrection going on in America. The death of an unarmed, nonthreatening man by the hands of law enforcement is a tragic event, and it's about time it has ignited discussions of police reform. However, it also led to the burning and pillaging of major cities across the US, and even communal attempts of secession from the US as a whole.
Even more shocking is people actively defending the destruction of their cities. A common argument is "Insurance will cover it" or "Property can be replaced, human lives cannot." While, somewhat understandable, these arguments are fairly dangerous lines of thought, and we will explore how and why.
Small Businesses are not Large Corporations
Walmart and Amazon have enough resources to maintain operations during an apocalypse (especially if they're dodging billions in taxes...) Your local game store and your local favorite restaurant, however, do not. They aren't as financially capable of replacing destroyed property, or covering the livelihoods of their employees in the event of such a man-made disaster. In fact, many businesses may not even see a penny of profits after 5 years of starting up.
You'll also likely never will see the face of a CEO of either Walmart, Apple, or Amazon. However, you likely ran into the owner of that bar and may not have even known.
Insurance Premiums May Become Harder to Afford, and not Cover Everything.
Local businesses may not have insurance that covers for riots and anarchy. Even if a lot of businesses have that covered, what is preventing insurance premiums from rising?
How about Health Insurance for those injured during these riots? Would these same people argue "Oh it's just a limb, health insurance will cover it."? Losing property that's critical to a business is like losing your right arm. But many of these businesses, starting out, may not even have health insurance plans either. If they do, the cost of both health and property insurance could be enough to cripple operations alone. Even then, what's to stop all insurance companies to stop covering these types of incidents all together as they become more prevalent?
Irreplaceable Art and Monuments
What about decorative pieces, furniture, or other crafted works that you hired or bought that are one-of-a-kind? Money doesn't make them magically reappear. That's what happened to a high-end art store in Melrose. https://www.canyon-news.com/melrose-high-end-art-gallery-looted/116145
Some of these pieces could be valued to hundreds of thousands of dollars and perhaps contain some level of historical significance. How would you feel if you were a talented artist, make a living off your craft, only to have a piece you spent thousands of hours on, stolen by a group of bandits that don't have any real appreciation of your artwork? Sure Or think about this: What if they stole the Statue of David or the Mona Lisa? Good luck convincing insurance companies.
Now how about historical monuments that represent a significant part of history? Unfortunately those are also being targeted by these same anarchists. These riots have caused the destruction of several historical sites, including gravestones, statues of historical leaders, even memorials of people of color who served in the military.
You know who else destroyed monuments for the sake of their ideologies? Terrorist groups in the middle east. Al Quaeda, The Taliban, ISIS...what makes ANTIFA, or any of these rioters any different?
Property is Acquired through time and hard work
How do you think property is acquired? Money. How is money acquired? Through time and hard work. When someone steals or destroys someone's property, they're essentially robbing a person of hours, days, perhaps years of hard work and effort they invested into that property. Time can never be replaced. Not with insurance, not with crowd-funding. Hell, even if the money is raised to completely rebuild your business, reconstruction will still take time. Restoring regular business operations will take time. Restoring people's faith in the safety of their community will take time.
The people who run small businesses may as well be poisoned.
The lost of Communal Trust
Even if all is right and you do reacquire the money to rebuild and re-open, who is going to want to come back? Unless you move your business to a new location many many miles away from the epicenter of the riots, you otherwise may not see the same number of customers for years. The slowdown of traffic may result in that business shutting down permanently. Many would never want to touch that area again until at least a few years at least.
Would you really want to return to a place like this anytime soon?
The Greatest Toll: The Loss of Even More Lives
The riots tragically left to the loss of many, many more lives. More lives than that one officer has killed that sparked these riots. From unprovoked attacks, to people trying to defend their communities, the lives of these people are no less devastating than the one who started it all.
Retired police captain David Dorn was just one victim of these riots, for the 'crime' of defending a friend's store from looters. https://apnews.com/1421b4f84e39488c41c0a285dba8a8cc
It's tragic that he, and many other law-abiding citizens are thrown into the crossfire of these ravenous mobs. The life of one needlessly lead to the loss of many over the United States. Chicago, as well, sees a huge spike in homicides, unseen in over 60 years. https://abcnews.go.com/US/chicago-sees-18-homicides-deadliest-day-60-years/story?id=71150234
Indirectly, lives are put at risk too. Businesses shut down because of these riots leave people scrambling to find jobs. Because of the toll of the government shutdowns for the corona virus on top of these riots, it has become more difficult for businesses to feed families. Thanks to Donald Trump's stimulus, as well as the Paycheck Protection Program, there has only been a fractional amount of support for these harsh economic times. For some, it's just enough to pay rent. For others, it's not enough.
Chainlink Productions is still a small business steadily growing. While we don't have any offices or full time employees yet, such an event would completely cripple operations financially. It may lead to loss of jobs, which would be even more difficult to find from the aftermath of a deadly riot. More lives are put at risk, physically and financially, and that's not anything a business owner wants on his plate..
Small businesses aren't completely doomed. They can survive natural and man-made disasters. And sure, there are supportive structures in place as well. It is still critical to understand that not all small businesses can survive such events, and many of them may be your favorite hangout spots. It is a lot of work and risk as it is to start a small business. You should thank your local hobby shop or restaurant for providing a valuable service that you enjoy so much. Times are tough, and we need to give these people and communities the support they need.