Rioting and looting have costs. Not only do perpetrators destroy property but they also leave behind a colossal mess for others to clean up, and business owners must forgo revenue while spending money to renovate, repair, and even rebuild.
Experts at Anderson Economic Group estimate that the looting in the 20 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. between May 29 and June 3 cost more than $400 million. That total includes property damage, lost inventory, cleanup and reconstruction costs, and closure-related lost wages.
Note that the estimate includes zero for peaceful protests, even though they shuttered businesses. The point was to estimate the cost of the unlawful activity.
Brian Peterson, the firm’s director of public policy and economic analysis, said:
“The looting is unfortunate. Many states were on the verge of reopening after a two-month-plus COVID-19 closure, and now some of these businesses will not be able to reopen.”
The group was conservative in its estimate, only counting verified instances of looting, and not including any cost to city and state governments, such as property damage or increased emergency services.
“We hope that those businesses that experienced looting and damage will be able to bounce back, but we know that some will not make it. That means empty storefronts and the loss of jobs at those businesses, which ultimately hurts local communities.”