News Release

Lilliannia Ayers places a stick of sage in a bag while serving a customer at her store Queen Hippie Gypsy in downtown Oakland. All of the businesses on Ayers’ block were vandalized during recent protests earlier this week against the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

CRA President and CEO Rachel Michelin in CalMatters: Collateral damage: Can small businesses survive this “double whammy”?




The timing couldn’t be worse for small businesses in California just starting to reopen from the pandemic, then damaged amid anti-racism uprisings.

…In a week of peaceful protest against police violence, politically motivated vandalism and arson, and opportunistic theft, Show-Anderson’s academy, like many small businesses across the state, has become the collateral damage. 

The timing is, of course, horrible. 

First there was the pandemic. Then came the shutdowns. No more customers, no more revenue, but no freeze on monthly rent, lease payments or insurance premiums. And just as the shutdowns were starting to lift, this.

“‘Double-whammy’ doesn’t even begin to describe it,” said Rachel Michelin, president of the California Retailers Association. “We were finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”

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