MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The city of Minneapolis announced a new program Tuesday to help business owners recover from the civil unrest following George Floyd’s death.

The program is called Minneapolis Forward: Rebuild Resilient. Mayor Jacob Frey said there are around 200 shops owned by people of color who were impacted by the unrest, and are now forced to rebuild.

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The grant provides $1.2 million to those businesses to rebuild, with energy sustainability in mind. It absorbs the cost of solar, or LED lights which owners can use to save money down the road.

For some, the road is still blocked by demolition costs, as rubble still sits as it did in May.

Frey said on Tuesday this is just one initiative working in tandem with other grants, and one he believes is important nonetheless.

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The sentiment was echoed by business owners like Ruhel Islam, whose restaurant, Gandhi Mahal, burned in May.

“Please, let’s work together, let’s do more collaboration so that we can lead by example. Because the world is watching us here,” said Islam. “What we’ll be doing, we’ll be doing global and local connection, to make the world a better place.”

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The program is part of Frey’s budget proposal that needs to be approved by the city council. Councilmembers Andrea Jenkins and Linea Palmisano attended the announcement, but did not say with certainty that they think it will pass. However, they said that they are hopeful.

Christiane Cordero