PHILADELPHIA - The aftermath of destructive looting over the weekend in Philadelphia has affected many businesses and communities that are trying to come together after being stuck indoors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
For Jeff Brown, the CEO of Brown’s Super Stores Inc., he has had some of his local stores destroyed during recent looting and is trying to figure out how to function again.
In the Philadelphia area, Brown has 12 different stores that were looted, causing major damage to two different stores -- the Parkside and Fox Street Shop-Rites. He says that these stores are currently closed but are still planning on reopening within the next week.
“In these two neighborhoods, there aren’t really any other food stores and now that they’re closed, the people don’t have access to their necessities. So it’s really important that we get them open as quick as possible,” says Brown.
Brown’s Super Stores is currently operating 10 different Shop-Rites and 2 Fresh Grocers in Philadelphia.
Brown tthinks that outsiders came into the neighborhoods to loot the stores and the people around the neighborhoods of Park West and Allegheny West wouldn’t do this.
“I know it’s hard to believe but I have a loving relationship with both communities for a really long time. We’ve helped them to overcome their challenges and I don’t believe that they would do this," Brown explained. We didn’t recognize the looters, so we think they came from outside the community.”
The communities and regular customers in that area have been supportive, reaching out to Brown and offering encouraging words.
“I must have received 5,000 social media and texts of just pure love and affection for the work that we have done, appreciation and offers to help. Over in Parkside, hundreds of people showed up to help us clean up yesterday. That’s the kind of relationship that we have," he added.
Brown realizes that some changes are going to have to take place after the destructive looting in each of the stores, but continues to promise that the stores will be opening soon for those in need.
“I was talking to Councilman Jones and I try to operate stores that are just like a suburban store and the riot that occurred really puts into question some of my ideas, so I don’t want to leave my vision but we might have to put more protection in. Both pharmacies were devastated and won’t be open in the near future but I think we can get both stores open within a week.”
Clean-up efforts around the Philadelphia region have been underway as citizens and community members work together to help put the aftermath of these incidents behind them.