DENVER -- Shop owners along a stretch of East Colfax spent much of day Thursday cleaning up and repairing damage caused by marauding protesters Wednesday night.
Dr. Anastasia Petkova, a mother of two, owns Happy Teeth dentistry at Colfax and Franklin, where protesters broke 12 double-pane windows on the east side of the building.
Petkova said she and her husband spent $60,000 installing brand new windows and upgrading the office ten years ago. She said Wednesday night's damage compounds the struggles she's been facing since she was forced to shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"It was mandatory," she said. "I was able to obtain a PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loan, and open up and start my business again, now I have to shut down again."
She said she's closing temporarily because she can't work with broken windows and can't see patients, "with glass all over."
"It's been very difficult for me. I have worked for so long to be able to have my own business. It's very emotional, it's difficult," she said.
Petkova, an immigrant from Bulgaria, said she has ten employees she feels responsible for.
"I feel obligated to help them. I don't want to leave them without job," she said. "I spent most of my life in education and I'm trying to open a business, and as a female owner and immigrant, it's not very easy."
A few doors down, the owner of 303 Boards is taking steps to protect property, by having an security roller shutter installed at the front entrance.
"We call them hurricane shutters," said John Nicholson of Innovative Openings.
Nicholson said the security shutters can protect from high winds and vandals.
"It would take a battering ram to get through this," he said.
Denver Police arrested eight people during the protest.
Sarah Marreel-Alley, River Dougherty, Megan Smith, Rebecca Carter, Mark Noonan, Logan Debyle, Braedan Weart and Ariel Wolff were cited for violations ranging from disobeying a lawful order to engaging in a riot and assault on a police officer.