18 businesses receive Rebuilding Downtown assistance

San Jose Downtown Foundation and two citizen funds combine
to help businesses with damage caused during protests


SAN JOSE – Eighteen businesses received $1,700 apiece to help defray the costs of property damage and looting sustained during George Floyd anti-racism protests, mostly during the weekend of May 29.  Checks totaling more than $30,000 are being hand-delivered today.

The “Rebuilding Downtown” funds were donated to San Jose Downtown Foundation and citizen-initiated GoFundMe campaigns originated by Ashton and Farran Chevallier in partnership with Archie Garcia and Abdul Momeni. 

“Small business owners should always help and support each other,” Momeni said.  “We are in this together no matter where we are located in the community.”

Momeni, who owns the Studio 34 salon near Oakridge Mall and has been closed since March 17 due to the coronavirus, started the GoFundMe account knowing that it would be difficult for small businesses to come up with money for damage expenses on top of the pandemic related losses they’ve already sustained. 

With $16,435 donated to SJDF and $14,210 donated through GoFundMe, the funders teamed up to cover the 18 businesses that applied for assistance.  Several other downtown businesses were damaged as a result of protest-related vandalism, however, their home offices were taking care of the repair expenses for them.

Businesses, already suffering from the shelter-in-place and economic crisis caused by Covid-19, greatly appreciated the assistance. 

“Thank you so much,” said Dan Phan, owner of Miniboss.  “We’re getting the window replaced sometime this week. This is really helpful for us because insurance wasn’ :t an option – we have a $5000 deductible for property damage.” 

More than 100 people donated to the cause between June 1 and June 23.  The Foundation’s campaign alone attracted 41 donors who gave between $25 and $5,000.

“It was great to see the incredible response from individuals wanting to help our storefront businesses,” said Nathan Ulsh, SJDA director of policy and operations.  “These are unfortunate times for everyone, and I’m proud of the way the community has come together to help one another.”

Businesses receiving assistance included:  Chacho’s, CubaMex Sandwich Shop, Elyse Restaurant, Flames Eatery and Bar, Forager, Grace Deli and Café, Guggenheim Entertainment/ 3 Below Theaters, Hotworx, Local Color, Mezcal Restaurant, Miniboss, Mumbai Local, Picasso’s Tapas, Pizza My Heart, Rec Room, The Ritz, Smoke Eaters and Temple.

Photos attached: Credit SJDA
     – Abdul Momeni and son in front of San Pedro Square mural
     – Tin Le, owner of Temple bar and nightclub