An early estimate of the damage done in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray — the 25-year-old man who died in police custody in April — has totaled up to $9 million, the Baltimore Sun reports.
The estimate, handed down by the Small Business Administration Wednesday, isn’t official. Authorities anticipate that number will increase as they “develop a final tally of damage,” the site writes. The preliminary findings identified that at least 285 businesses were damaged in the unrest, which also saw the burning of a CVS Pharmacy that has now become a rallying point for protests against police brutality in West Baltimore.
The period of damage, including the burning of a number of vehicles, looting, and damage to homes, was said to take place between April 25 and May 3. The Small Business Administration has since issued a Physical Disaster Declaration for the city.
From the Baltimore Sun:
The federal agency estimated the damaged at about $8.9 million to about 285 business and $60,000 to two houses — with at least 30 sustaining major damage, officials told The Baltimore Sun. The city’s economic development arm, the Baltimore Development Corp., has released a higher estimate of damaged businesses: 350.
Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, along with other Maryland Democrats, called for the Small Business Administration to assist with the creation of disaster centers in the city and a plan to inform business owners who are eligible for benefits about how to apply for assistance.
“This physical disaster determination and quick follow-through is necessary to help ensure that Baltimore business owners can get the physical disaster loan assistance and economic injury disaster loan assistance they need to repair or replace real estate, personal property, equipment, or inventory damaged or destroyed in the disturbance,” Mikulski wrote in the letter the Small Business Administration. The letter also was signed by U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin and U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings.
To assist businesses who have sustained damage, the Baltimore Development Corp established the Baltimore Business Recovery Fund with the hope of raising at least $15 million for a loan program.
According to the Sun, $200,000 has been donated as of Thursday.
State officials have not said when they plan to release the final tally for the damage, but the City Council plans to hold a hearing June 9 to investigate the costs.
SOURCE: The Baltimore Sun | VIDEO SOURE: NDN