Castro dealers have been reporting more than $ 135,000 worth of damaged windows as of January 2020

There is nothing more frustrating for small business owners across San Francisco than a broken storefront.

But they’re an all too common sight in the city, so the Castro District Merchants Association in San Francisco last week started a poll to find out what the actual load was on the neighborhood over the past year. At the time of writing, stores in the area have reported 72 broken and broken windows incidents since January 2020. The total cost was $ 135,472.74. The answers are still coming in.

Dave Karraker, board member of Castro Merchants and co-owner of MX3 Fitness, said the board had decided to collect the data in hopes of supporting a new program to reimburse business owners for these types of damages. Karraker announced that a similar reimbursement program was launched last year by District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston, which pours in $ 1,000 per incident to companies that raise less than $ 25 million per year for up to two incidents per year. You want to propose something similar to city officials.

“It’s not the business owner’s fault if someone shows up and smashes your window,” Karraker said. “Shoplifting is the retailer’s problem, but if it’s something that is completely out of your control and that the city allows, it’s the lack of a foot patrol on the streets.”

What is most notable about the responses collected is that the majority of the broken windows were vandalism rather than burglary: only 17 of the 72 incidents reported stolen goods. Karraker said he believes the crime is mainly committed by unhodged neighborhood residents who use drugs. For example, he said he saw a person get into a fight with their reflection in the mirror and slam the window during the indignation.

The reported incidents have occurred since January 1, 2020. The data collected includes the date of the incident, repair costs, deductible insurance amount, and whether an arrest and a police report were made.

The Walgreens on the 18th and Castro appear to have been hit hardest with 11 broken windows. Crossroads Trading, Castro Village Wine Co., Rolo and Sui Generis Designer Consignment were met more than three times.

Karraker said the front door of his gym was damaged on Jan 16, 2020, and when he repaired it it triggered the need for ADA compliance for the replacement door. It would cost him $ 3,700, money he hasn’t had since his business was closed for most of the pandemic.

The Castro are likely not unique in their struggles during the pandemic, Karraker said, and he has also separately submitted laws to the board of directors calling for reimbursement for damaged windows for small businesses across the city.

“This is a breach of duty on behalf of the city,” said Karraker. “You shouldn’t issue business licenses or charge any company fees unless you can guarantee an environment in which a business can thrive.”




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