Jewel is one of several Chicago businesses that spent the past several days repairing broken windows and restocking shelves after weekend looting and property damage followed peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd. Jewel “has already reopened multiple storefronts, including the 95th Street and 87th Street locations which open today, and the Woodlawn location which reopened earlier in the week. The King Drive store reopens Saturday,” the city said in a statement.
“The commitment of retailers here in Chicago to rebuild has been phenomenal,” Lightfoot said at a news conference today in the parking lot of the Jewel-Osco at 6014 S. Cottage Grove Ave. “The events over the past few days in Chicago have brought a range of emotions. The murder of George Floyd was painful and traumatic for all of us, and we stand with the peaceful, righteous protests that have occurred across our city and across our nation” and must separate them from “violence and destruction” against communities.
Lightfoot said she is working with Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to build cases against looters. “They have to be held accountable, period.”
The city’s 9 p.m. curfew will not lift until the city sees sustained peaceful protest and an absence of looting, the mayor said. “We’ll look and see what the weekend brings,” but she added, “we’re not there yet.”
The city is working with the Chicago Community Trust to collect more donations from philanthropic organizations, corporations and individuals. Through July 31, Jewel customers can also make small donations to the fund via pin pads at checkout.
The new business alert system will allow the city’s Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection and Office of Emergency Management & Communication “to send geotargeted alerts to businesses in specific areas of the city as needed,” including during civil unrest and weather emergencies.
In her speech this week, Lightfoot pledged to push insurance companies “to cut through red tape, stop hiding behind small print, get your adjusters out into the neighborhoods and start cutting checks.” Asked for updates on those talks today, the mayor said, “we need insurance companies to send adjusters to our neighborhoods now and cut checks to put people back to business, get them whole so they can serve their customers, pay their employees and do their life’s work. . . .We’ve been working in concert with the state, who regulates these insurers, and if we don’t see results, believe me, we’ll be on the front lines calling them out by name. My expectation is that these adjusters are going to be hitting the streets today, tomorrow, until we make businesses whole with checks that they deserve because they’ve paid their premiums.”
But she added she’d met “a number of small-business people this week who don’t have insurance, whose businesses were shut down as a result of COVID and unfortunately, they made the difficult decision to let their insurance lapse. We need to bring help and hope to them. I’m confident the (city’s new fund) will specifically be helping those small businesses, because otherwise, it’s a total loss for them and we have nothing.”
This is the first weekend that restaurants with outdoor space will be allowed to open up. The mayor said she hopes to make an announcement next week about allowing indoor dining.
Pressed again today on the timeline for reopening the lakefront, Lightfoot said, “I’m hoping to be able to announce the reopening of the lakefront relatively soon, with a plan toward safely minimizing crowding and really having some designated times for particular activities along the lakefront. . . .I know people are anxious to get back to the lakefront.”