Local business owner faces permanent closure due to looters; community steps in for $15,000 rebuild campaign

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Entrepreneur and Peirce College alum Jameelah Scurry was left in shock Tuesday when her boutique store was destroyed following the city's recent looting and unrest amid the death of 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr.

"The journey was long and rough. We just came up on our two-year mark that we've been here," said Scurry. "So, we were also celebrating that and our two-year mark in business."

After quitting her job and deciding to invest in her dream and community, Scurry emptied all of her savings, sold her home, and even maxed out credit cards to see La'vanter Boutique open its doors.

Like many small businesses that survived the difficulties amid the pandemic, Scurry's back is against the wall yet again.

WATCH: Looters hit several businesses in Philadelphia after officers fatally shoot Walter Wallace Jr.
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Looters hit several businesses in Philadelphia after officers fatally shoot Walter Wallace Jr. on October 26, 2020.



"Me graduating from Peirce, that was a long journey too," she added. "I was actually very proud of myself, graduating in a pandemic. It was extremely hard with all of the George Floyd riots and all of that going on."

Scurry says graduating amid those circumstances has been major accomplishment, but recent events has added a toll on her mentally.

Community members have stepped in to help donate to Scurry's 'La'vanter Boutique Rebuild' campaign on GoFundMe.

Her goal of raising $15,000 will help restore the shop after being cleaned out from looters.

"It's been a real blessing," said Scurry. " I appreciate everybody that reached out to even give us encouraging words and that are praying for us."

Scurry says she's now in jeopardy of losing everything she's worked so hard for but says she still sees the light at the end of the tunnel.

"We as Black people, really need to reunite and come together," she said. "Destroying and tearing down our own people is not the answer."

WATCH: Looters ransack businesses in Philadelphia Port Richmond section
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Chopper 6 was over looting in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

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