MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Nearly a dozen businesses along Lake Street damaged or in various ways impacted by the unrest following George Floyd's death have a dose of help easing some of their pain.
The Lake Street Council is distributing $750,000 in the first round of funding from its new Healthy Lake Street Fund.
Nicholas Zimet has owned his acupuncture and chronic pain therapy practice for 11 years, located on the second floor of an office building just off East Lake Street. This past year was by far the most difficult for his business after rioters broke into the building during last May’s unrest.
"We had glass broken, entryways destroyed and there was attempted arson in our building," said Zimet. "Because of that, we had a lot of obstacles to be able to continue normal care."
Somehow despite sprinklers going off and massive amounts of cleanup on the main floor, Zimet’s office was the only one physically untouched. However, patients couldn't safely get to him through all the construction.
He’s thankful to be one of 10 businesses awarded a grant from the Healthy Lake Street Fund. Some business owners can receive up to $100,000. It’s all made possible through a financial gift from United Health Group. The money is helping health and medical services along this stretch in various ways - from reopening to relocating or expanding.
"Because I work with a lot of people who need interpreters, it allowed me to keep hiring people from interpreting agencies and contracting interpreters, so I’m able to have that communication with my patients, make sure they can still come in," said Zimet.
For Zimet, the $30,000 he was awarded has helped keep operations running as close to normal as possible during a pandemic.
"I’m really happy to be in a better place than I was at that time," said Zimet. "And I’m excited we are going to come out of this with greater connection to the community."
This new fund for small health and wellness businesses is in addition to the We Love Lake Street Fund, which has already provided more than $5.5 million in grants to over 350 small other small businesses on Lake Street.