Minneapolis' Lake Street business owners take first step in rebuilding after riots

A first step was taken to help Lake Street business owners rebuild after their livelihoods were destroyed by the unrest a few weeks ago in Minneapolis.

Many of the businesses are immigrant-owned and were already struggling financially before the riots that followed the death of George Floyd.

"They ransacked most of our offices, they looted the first floor and they even made a mark here on the third floor," said Khadar Adan, owner of Jigjiga Business Center on Lake Street. The building houses several Somali-owned businesses and hosted a public forum Tuesday to discuss the damages.

Now, he and many other owners need to come up with thousands of dollars in repairs and insurance fees.

"When they are coming to collect the money, they come right away, but when we need their help they are no show," he said.

The House passed the Promise Act to help parts of the Twin Cities rebuild after the destruction. It calls for $300 milion to help business owners get back on their feet, as well as establish an investigation commission to dig into the government's response to keeping order.

FOX 9 confirms that Senate Republicans refer to this aid package as a bailout, which makes it unlikely the relief money will be going out anytime soon.

"Doing nothing is not the option. We have to do something to rejuvenate the businesses along this corridor--most of them are owned by people of color and indigenous," said Rep. Mohamud Noor, DFL-Minneapolis.

Among some of the options to help business owners out would be to delay rent for a few months, provide property tax relief, and to allow owners to acquire property through eminent domain and re-sell to benefit the neighborhood.

"I don't have a bank loan; I took a loan from my parents--some $60,000. My mom was supposed to retire last year. She's 66 years old and she works in a nursing home...so I won't retire so we can do this," another business owner said.