Small businesses hurt by Baltimore riot face recovery hurdles, even with government help

BALTIMORE – Scores of small businesses targeted by Baltimore rioters face hurdles to recovery that extend far beyond the physical replacement of doors, windows and merchandise.

The Maryland Insurance Administration says insurance claims usually result in higher premiums, even for those whose policies cover losses from civil unrest.

State officials say they’re talking with the Small Business Administration about loans for uninsured businesses. But some small retailers don’t want more debt, and most lack the cash reserves of larger companies.

Public policy experts say that even when riot-damaged businesses reopen, their customers may have moved on or grown wary of the neighbourhood.

That leaves Richard Sung Kang undecided about whether to reopen his Oxford Tavern in West Baltimore. The South Korean immigrant says he wants to move on from the looting — but he might do it somewhere else.