The High Cost of Riots: Part 3

This three-part series looks at the aftermath of riots from several perspectives. Part II talks about the role that economic stress plays on the psychology of rioters.

Helping Hands

Chavez, who is on a temporary assignment in Baltimore, says only a handful of qualified businesses, homeowners, and renters have reached out to the SBA for help.  “We give loans based on a business or individual’s situation.  There are no banks involved,” she says.

[Related: The High Cost of Riots: Part 2]

Chavez says businesses and nonprofits can borrow up to $2 million for physical damages or economic injury.  Rates are as low as 1.688% and terms can be as long as 30 years.  Homeowners can borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their home, and an additional $40,000 for personal property, including automobiles, under those same terms.   The same applies to renters, who can borrow up to $40,000 to replace any damaged or stolen items.

Chavez says there are four ways people can apply for assistance:

  1. You can apply online at
  2. You can go to and download an application.
  3. You can call 1-800-659-2955.
  4. You can visit a temporary recovery center and fill out the application at the center.

“You don’t have to deplete your personal savings. You don’t have to deplete your 401 (k). You don’t have to pay high interest rates.  Essentially, you don’t have to go out of business,” she says.

Randall and his partners at Phase 10 have reached out to the SBA for a $50,000 loan, based on the economic impact of the riots.  They are awaiting approval, and are close to grossing $20,000 as they rebuild revenues back to pre-riot levels.  Sales, however, are still below the $30,000 per week that the business produced before the riots.

Aziz and Muhammed, on the other hand, are having a harder time getting Frozen Desert Sorbet back on its feet, as the streets are still too dangerous for them to activate their carts.  Local government officials have helped by giving them access to festivals and events that provide safe working environments for the young people they are trying to help.

“We’re trying to reverse the trends and create entrepreneurs.  Hopefully people will see them and they will serve as role models,” says Muhammad.

Role models that are badly needed in a city struggling to rebuild.