One year later: Businesses recover from violent protests in Richmond

Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 6:12 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - This weekend will mark one year since protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death turned violent, where many businesses along West Broad Street were damaged, destroyed and looted.

Waller & Company Jewelers is one of those small businesses that had damage left behind. Looters also stole thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from their store.

One year later, the business says they’re continuing to serve the community with a positive outlook.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have such loyal and great customers,” said David Waller, manager and vice president of Waller & Company Jewelers. “They switched over from helping us clean up to purchasing items. It turned a really bad situation into a positive one immediately.”

While some businesses remain boarded up on West Broad Street, others are on the road to recovery.

The DTLR store, which was sent in flames close to a year ago, will reopen soon. A sign on the store’s window says they will reopen in June.

Emory Heiston, president and founder of the Virginia Banditz Car Club, joined his fellow car club members to help these businesses pick up the pieces.

One year later, Heiston says the work continues to protect their city and home.

“As a community, we have to stick together,” Heiston said. “Tragedies and events that happen, that’s when we need to show our strength. We can’t allow it to deter us or bring us down.”

To help small businesses, including Waller and Company Jewelers, the Virginia 30 Day Fund set aside $100,000 to help them repair damages left behind.

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