SALT LAKE CITY — Many businesses were impacted following Saturday’s protests that turned violent in downtown Salt Lake City and curfews that were put in place through Monday morning.
A lot of those businesses haven’t even fully opened or recovered from the effects of COVID-19.
Streets were quiet and many businesses were closed nearly 24 hours after the chaos unfolded in downtown Salt Lake City.
“It’s crazy. It’s been devastating for sure coming out of COVID and trying to figure out how we safely reopen our doors,” said Joey Canella, owner of Canella’s and Taco Taco.
Canella said he’s even more worried after Saturday’s demonstrations turned violent right outside his restaurants.
“They heard gunshots — my staff said that same thing. There was SWAT out front. Yeah, it was really scary,” he said.
Police and military presence were still outside his businesses, which are normally closed on Sunday anyway, but yesterday, they cleared out early.
Streets are pretty quiet and many businesses closed today due to unrest and uncertainty. How the riots are impacting business in #SLC. Hear from some business today on @KSL5TV at 4:30 & 5 #KSLTVpic.twitter.com/4wSsBG6WgM— Felicia Martinez (@FeliciaKSL) May 31, 2020
“So I’m just out here assessing. We don’t really have any damage — people basically spray painted our trashcans. We were lucky,” said Canella.
Other businesses were not as fortunate. Some completely closed their doors Sunday, including Trader Joe’s, despite not being forced to close down.
But some businesses like Jade Market remained open and busier than normal on Sunday.
“It was like a ghost town this morning, and then people started coming out and grabbing coffee and stuff,” said Ashley Fenn, a cashier at Jade Market.
After escaping any damage Saturday, clerk Ashley Fenn said she was a little on edge Sunday, but at the same time, optimistic.
“I’m ready for it… like I said, we didn’t have any issues last night, and I’m hoping tonight we won’t either,” said Fenn.
Canella’s and Taco Taco plan to open like normal on Tuesday.
Officials at City Creek were still deciding whether to reopen Monday.