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In This Time of Need, Minnesotans Have Stepped Up; It’s Government’s Turn

In This Time of Need, Minnesotans Have Stepped Up; It’s Government’s Turn

https://minnesotareformer.com/2021/06/15/in-this-time-of-need-minnesotans-have-stepped-up-its-governments-turn-opinion/ By Allison Sharkey, Felicia Perry, and Chad Kulas This guest commentary first appeared in the Minnesota Reformer The civil unrest that unfolded in the wake of George Floyd”™s murder has had a deep and lasting impact on the Twin Cities. Buildings burned, family-run shops were robbed, and local health care clinics and nonprofits were broken into and damaged. The places where people lived, worked and relied on for essential services were destroyed and entire communities were left reeling. During the summer of 2020, KB Balla stands near what remains of Scores Sports Bar at 2713 E. Lake St. in Minneapolis. Photo by Hannah Black/Minnesota Reformer. In this moment of pain, Minnesotans did what they do best: They lent a hand and got to work. Volunteers swept the streets and sidewalks. People organized pop-up food shelves. Donations ”” of $5, $20 $50 ”” came in from across our state and the country to help small businesses. This generosity has accomplished a lot. Thanks to these donations, local nonprofits like the Lake Street Council, the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition, and the Midway Chamber of Commerce have been able to provide more than $10 million in grants to more than 400 small businesses. We have seen firsthand how these grants have helped repair building damage and replace lost inventory and equipment. These donations have supported local business owners”™ abilities to reopen their doors and hire back employees. But rebuilding our cities cannot be done through philanthropy alone. Together, Minneapolis and St. Paul sustained more than $500 million in damages. As the Star Tribune previously noted, this makes the Twin Cities riots the second most costly civil disturbance in our country”™s history, behind the Los Angeles riots in 1992. Entire buildings [...]

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