An eerie thing happened while I was out for a short joy ride to break the cabin fever: as I listened to my local NPR station’s story about businesses in my town hit by looting, I passed right by the boarded-up business they were discussing. Santa Monica Music Center is a 50-year-old family-run operation that’s been serving the local school district by renting and repairing musical instruments, giving lessons and such. Everything in their repair shop was stolen and all the office equipment, such as computers and printers, was either stolen or destroyed, the place posts on its website.
Sucks. Family run. Helping kids learn music. Fifteen blocks away from the center of the city’s looting rampage.
I’m sure we’ve all been thinking a lot about how—or whether—small businesses will survive. How will restaurants make it when they can’t operate at capacity? How will they afford all the PPE for employees? Insurance rates are sure to rise. And all these costs will likely be passed on to consumers. Will said consumers just want to consume at home from now on? Add higher prices to fear of catching covid among other diners and, well, it’s a bleak picture.
Santa Monica Music Center’s co-owner, who owns the shop with her dad, doesn’t know if her insurance company will cover their losses. The company had initially said an “act of God” absolved it of doing so. She does know that the community has rallied, however. Her GoFundMe has raised more than $17,000 already. It reminded me of the army of volunteers with brooms and dust pans cleaning up the day after the local looting. Dang, I needed that shot in the arm.
Change always comes from below. Apparently healing will, too.