SANTA MONICA—On Thursday, June 4, Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce created the Santa Monica Business Relief fund that will benefit the Santa Monica businesses that were damaged or lost merchandise last Sunday, May 31. The city will also waive fees and fast-track permits for business recovery from damages.

According to a press release, approximately 250 businesses suffered damages from nearly $11.5 million in exterior damages alone. The supplement of waiving permits and planning review fees for permits for repairs will apply to businesses that have suffered from the civil unrest following the May 30 local emergency.

“We mourn the damage to our beloved businesses and are moving to help them recover as quickly as they can,” Interim City Manager Lane Dilg said in a statement. “We will work hand in hand with businesses and the community to recover, heal and move forward together from both the civil unrest on May 31 and the effects of COVID-19.”

Chamber president Laurel Rosen stated that Jamie Montgomery with March Capital has donated $10,000 to GoFundMe to start the campaign and will donate another $10,000 when the fund reaches $90,000.

The Santa Monica Police Department also created the SAFE LA Task Force. The SMPD said on Friday that the Task Force has partnered with the FBI, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Fire Department and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. This sector will specialize in investigating looting, burglary, robbery, vandalism, arson and assault that have occurred during protests and looting.

“Sunday was one of the most distressing days in Santa Monica history. We know better than to let the looters obscure the message of the protesters, who have indeed been heard. What a small and selfish criminal element has done instead is to bring our community more closely together,” stated Santa Monica Mayor Kevin McKeown. “We will support our local businesses to recover from this. Much was lost on Sunday, including property and innocence. As Mayor, I’m grateful that we did not lose any lives.”