SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Being a local business owner is difficult enough on it’s own through the COVID-19 pandemic. On top of that, The Full Circle Book Co-op has also been the victim of a series of vandalisms.
In the span of 9 months, the Full Circle Book Co-op in Downtown Sioux Falls has been vandalized 4 times.
“The most severe one was the brick thrown through the window,” Sion Lidster said.
That incident left Co-owner Lidster’s spirits in shatters.
“You know it’s frustrating. It makes you angry when these things happen,” Lidster said.
But, even in the worst of times, Lidster says there’s a silver lining. After the window, a GoFundMe pages was formed to help them get back on their feet.
“Before we even knew about it there was $800 raised, and that actually got up to $4,000 dollars from a goal of $1,000,” Lidster said.
Then, just a week ago, they fell victim to their fourth vandalism.
“Someone wrote Trump down the side of our window pane,” Lidster said.
With the extra money from the donations, they have installed brand new security cameras on the in and outside of their store.
“We managed to get a pretty good photograph of him: he’s all masked up and wearing a hat and everything,” Lidster said.
He says the motives behind the attacks could be politically charged.
“We’re a bookstore that supports some causes that affect our friends and extended families, like the ‘Black Lived Matter’ sign, which is where – directly above that is where the rock was thrown, so I have to assume they chose that space for a reason,” Lidster said.
Lidster says it’s tough enough operating a local business through the pandemic, and these financial setbacks don’t help, but when the community steps in to help, that is truly priceless.
“When someone does do something like that, it does affect us, and we probably wouldn’t be open right now if it wasn’t for that influx of the community support,” Lidster said.
And that the Book Co-op will always remain a space focused on community.
“We’re a safe space for everyone. We’re only intolerant of the intolerant,” Lidster said.
The Full Circle Book Co-Op is having its two-year anniversary celebration this Sunday. To learn more about the Full Circle Book Co-Op, visit its website.