As the U.S. deals with the economic fallout from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, major cities have seen further damage from protests that turned violent over the death of 46-year-old African-American George Floyd. Nearly 40 cities have had protests, with hundreds of arrests as some cities have seen businesses and public property burned.

It remains unclear how much value has been lost due to the unrest. In context, the Los Angeles riots in 1992 lasted over five days with over 1,000 damaged or destroyed buildings. The estimated property-damage cost at the time was about $500 million, which would equate to about $940 million in 2020.

Here’s a look at how businesses have been impacted by looting and vandalism in three cities: Denver, Minneapolis and Atlanta.


Zach Monks, the owner of Sole St. Shoes in downtown Denver, said he saw 30 to 40 people breaking through his front window early Saturday and stealing sneakers, the Denver Post reported. Monks said his store lost an estimated $25,000 in merchandise on Friday and Saturday

Jim Ilg, an operations manager at the 11th Avenue Hostel, said several of the minority-owned businesses in his building were damaged by vandalism. The damages to the building’s windows cost an estimated $20,000 and are not covered by insurance, he told the Post.

“We’re already suffering — we’ve had to lay people off,” Ilg said. “$20,000, that would be a part-time worker’s wages for an entire year that was just destroyed in literally seconds, So they’re taking jobs away from people by destroying this.”


Minneapolis is the epicenter of the protests, with Floyd being killed by a white police officer in the city on Monday. Videos spread on social media showed a Target and a Cub Foods in the city being looted and damaged this week.

Riots have destroyed a $30 million under-construction 190 unit apartment project in south Minneapolis on Thursday. The affordable housing project was being developed by St. Paul-based Wellington Management Inc., with the building slated to open in Spring 2021.


Two parts of Atlanta — affluent Buckhead and downtown — were hurt by vandalism this week. These areas were already struggling to recover amid the coronavirus pandemic. Rioters shattered the windows of the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta, along with the CNN Center.

A Corner Bakery Cafe in Buckhead was planning to reopen Monday but patio furniture was used to damage every window, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reported. Ipads and equipment used to calculate transactions were also stolen.

“We spent all week cleaning up the store, disinfecting everything, to get ready to open on Monday,” Corner Bakery CEO Frank Paci told AJC. “Now we have to clean up and do it all over again.”

The ongoing riots could be exacerbated by the impact of the coronavirus on the economy. The Department of Labor claims at least 40.8 million Americans have filed for unemployment since mid-March.