MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — While the economy is struggling, some Twin Cities businesses are booming. Since the death of George Floyd, some black-owned businesses are getting a big boost.

For many business owners, 2020 has caused sheer panic.

Keiona Cook runs Lovely Sewing a sewing non-profit for kids and designs clothing and jewelry in the North Loop.

“When COVID first hit, I was like, whats gonna happen,” Cook said.

After the COVID-19 pandemic started, she pivoted to mask making. After George Floyd was killed, she pivoted to making Black Lives Matter inspired earrings and business is on a major upswing.

“We need to be funded so we can thrive and bring more communities into our community so we can change the narrative, write the narrative together,” Cook said.

And it’s much the same at Soul Bowl and at Graze in the North Loop.

Brittney Klass and her husband own Soul Bowl.

“Since the protest and George Floyd case, we’ve definitely had a huge uptick in business from new customers, people who haven’t had Soul Bowl before,” Klauss said.

In fact, she says, the busiest day of business Soul Bowl has ever seen was this past Juneteenth — where the line was out the door all day.

“We have been doing food drives and donations, making food for people who had their businesses burned down,” said Derron Demry kitchen manager at Soul Bowl.

Klauss says she does have a hesitation.

“The issue if you want to call it that, is how long does this last? Is this a trend just cause it’s happening right now or is it going to be sustainable?” Klauss said.

The owners say the money has been nice, but it’s the newfound relationships that are invaluable, and hopefully – sustaining.

“We want people to keep coming, like the food and let us grow,” Demry said.

Earlier today, Netflix announced they will invest 100 million dollars in Black-owned banks in an effort to help close the wealth gap between Black and White America.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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