MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There is good news Tuesday for some small business owners and small business shoppers as a one-of-a-kind delivery program rolls out.

The new program focuses on some minority-owned businesses who could use a boost.

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The Midtown Global Market is a Minneapolis landmark that’s full of art, flavor and international representation. But the market has seen brighter days. They first closed for COVID-19, then social unrest came to a head outside its doors.

Mostafa Khchich fled with all his merchandise when windows started to break.

“I said let’s take everything out because all of my income and all of my work is in here, so I don’t want to lose the business,” Khchich said.

He started his business, Dar Medina, in his homeland of Morocco. After moving to the United States, he has been supporting his native artisans by selling handmade leather shoes, bags and rugs.

“I’m trying to support those tribes,” Khchich said.

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Business for him and his fellow tenants has been tough, but new relief is in sight. Shipt is launching a brand new program where they provide free delivery services to small business owners so they can safely sell Molly Snyder works with Shipt’s corporate office.

“It’s been an incredibly challenging year with equality issues, the pandemic and all of the issues that are also facing small businesses,” Snyder said. “And so really as we thought about, you know, where we could have an impact, looking at a place like Midtown Global Market, where you can have an impact and touch all of those things in a positive way was really something that felt like a tremendously compelling opportunity for us.”

It’s an opportunity Khchich is embracing.

“It’s very supportive and very positive feeling and energy to feel people care for us and to want to give us push-up to keep going and survive,” Khchich said.

The new site is live now and program starts Tuesday. Same-day delivery is also available. The consumer does pay a charge for delivery, but right now Shipt memberships are 50% off. Click here for more information.

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Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield