'Everything is gone': Small businesses hit by looting struggle to recover

Many small businesses in the city have been struggling to recover from looting.
S and M Electronics on Burnside Avenue recently had to replace the glass on its storefront and on its showcases after looters ransacked the business two weeks ago.

Patrick Morocho owns the electronics and pawn shop with his brother. He says he had to spend tens of thousands of dollars fixing the store after hundreds of looters cleared out more than $280,000 worth of merchandise.

"Everything is gone, I’m just trying to build up little by little now again, that’s the only option I have," he says.

Some of the merchandise stolen includes 40 air conditioners, dozens of televisions, washing machines and refrigerators.
Morocho says he has surveillance video that captured the moment he was assaulted by looters. He says he tried to confront them because police did not come.

"It was very scary, but in the moment, sometimes you don’t think, you just act," he says.

Since the store's insurance wasn’t current, Morocho says he's hoping the mayor’s fund for looted businesses will help. He also started a GoFundMe page.

Insurance expert Paul Tyler offers advice for businesses that are covered by their insurance.

He says, "Insurance companies are here to protect people who purchase policies and at the end of the day, that’s why we’re here."

Tyler says owners should document the damage, check the fine print in their contract, call the insurance company, keep good records and be patient.

Morocho says he is more than willing to get back up and start all over again.

"I came up from nowhere, I already know the way so, it hit me very hard, but it’s not going to stop me,” he says.