First round of grants released to help Minneapolis businesses rebuild after damages from 2020 riots

Out of the devastation and ruin along Lake Street in Minneapolis from the 2020 riots, we got a look at the future thanks to millions of dollars in aid coming from a state revitalization program.

"We love this neighborhood," said Lina Goh with Eat Street Crossing. "We love the diversity and vibrancy of the Eat Street neighborhood."

Goh and her team have some giant ambitions with their Eat Street Crossing project near the old Kmart, just off Lake Street. The building was vandalized at the height of the 2020 unrest following the police murder of George Floyd. Just as renovations were getting started on the 100-year-old building.

Goh is excited about a $750,000 grant awarded from the state’s Main Street Economic Revitalization Program, providing a major boost for the multicultural food hall she hopes to open by the end of the year.

"This will put wind under our wings, and it will help us tremendously," said Goh. "And we want to bring people back to Eat Street and have faith in south Minneapolis."

"Lake Street is never going to be what it used to be," said Minneapolis Foundation President R.T. Rybak. "And West Broadway is never going to be what it used to be. They are going to be dramatically better."

The Minneapolis Foundation President and CEO, and former mayor, R.T. Rybak is bullish on the future of this area decimated by rioting and looting that piled immense devastation on top of the economic pain from the global COVID-19 shutdown.

On Thursday, the foundation announced more than $10 million in grants for small businesses and non-profits. Supporting a total of 20 redevelopment and construction projects, officials insist will drive growth far beyond the state’s largest city.

"When you do an economic development, if you focus on a bunch of businesses in one place, the benefit far exceeds the amount of money you're investing," said Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove. "Those corridors are vibrant. They bring people together, they create new opportunity."