Downtown businesses reflect on damage caused by riots

Charleston County News

Charleston, S.C. – WCBD – Right as some businesses are reopening after COVID-19 related closures, they are now facing setbacks from the riots that occurred in downtown Charleston on Saturday.

Ahmed Elhalawany has owned King Market on King Street for 16 years. He says there is no other place he would rather be, but also says what happened this past weekend just doesn’t make sense.

“I saw the whole store being looted right in front of my eyes. I was outside. I couldn’t do anything.”

Ahmed Elhalawany, King Market Owner

Ahmed says what hurt the most was seeing his own customers loot his store.

“The money that was in the cashier, the change, the lottery machine, and the safe… They took all the money that was in the store,” said Elhalawany.

Both Ahmed and his employee were injured during the riot.

“So they start throwing the rocks and breaking the glass and one of the rocks hit up there and bounced and hit me in the head.”

Ahmed says they are still recovering from COVID-19 closures and now are not sure how bills will be paid.

“We are already struggling. The last couple of weeks we were so happy that everything just opened back up. We could not get the loans and now we don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Elhalawany.

King Market is open and the owners say they are trying to be positive, knowing they can and will make it through this.

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