New legislation offers reimbursement for broken windows due to vandalism
June 4, 2021
Castro Merchants, with the help of supervisor Rafael Mandelman, proposed city-wide legislation that will reimburse small business owners up to $ 2,000 for storefronts broken by vandalism or break-ins.
This program, which would be administered by the Office of Economic Development and Workforce, will reimburse businesses for up to two incidents per year if they file a police report and make a claim with the city.
Last year, Castro Merchants conducted a study titled “Castro Business Storefront Glass Damage Recorder” which recorded storefront glass breakage in the Castro, showing at least 93 incidents of broken storefronts at businesses in Castro since January of last year, totaling over $ 168,000 in damages.
“We are very happy to see Supervisor Mandelman pass this legislation and push the city to do a better job of protecting San Francisco’s vital small business community,” said Masood Samereie, president of Castro Merchants.
Supervisor Rafael Mandelman said that “paying to fix broken windows multiple times a year shouldn’t be normalized as just another cost of doing business, another tax paid by businesses and residents of San Francisco.
Sebastian Jellema, store manager at Rolo, a clothing store in the Castro, said breaking windows had become “an epidemic, it’s insane”.
In part, he attributed the increase to mental health issues for residents living on the streets that have become so severe that homeless people have nothing to do but smash windows at 3 a.m.
Other businesses neighboring Castro, such as MX3 Fitness, Crystal Way and CoreMVMT, have also struggled to deal with vandalized window repairs, Jellema said.
While window break-ins in the Mission have not become as common as those at the Castro, there have always been broken windows, like the ones at the Money Mart in Valencia and 16th Street that were smashed last week.
Supervisor Mandelman says he “hopes this legislation is a temporary measure that becomes unnecessary as San Francisco gets a grip on property crimes and finds appropriate interventions to bring homeless people with serious mental illnesses home,” but in the meantime, it’s the least we can do to support our small businesses. ”
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