Small health care businesses in Minneapolis got a boost from new grants to reopen or relocate after many were damaged following the police killing of George Floyd.
The Lake Street Council said Thursday that the nonprofit distributed $750,000 to 10 businesses, almost all owned by people of color and providing culturally specific services.
"They made a huge difference," Allison Sharkey, executive director of the council, said of the grants, which allowed businesses to reopen sooner than expected. "It's been a huge disaster. There's been a lot of loss. But a majority of businesses have reopened."
The businesses, which each received up to $100,000 from the Healthy Lake Street Fund for reopening, relocating or improvements, are Apex Dental Systems, Chicago Lake Dental, Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES), Diamonds Home Health Care, Midtown Eye Care, Healing Path Wellness Services PA, Neighborhood Development Center, Premier Health of South Minneapolis, Seward Pharmacy, and Nicholas Zimet, L.Ac., Acupuncture.
"It has helped us tremendously," said Sulekha Ibrahim, founder of Healing Path Wellness Services.
She's finally reopening next month and said the grant helped her hire more staff and expand telehealth, education and wellness programs. UnitedHealth Group funded the grants with $1 million. Sharkey said the next round of funding will focus on starting a mental health program for entrepreneurs.
The Lake Street Council created a separate fund that drew donations from across the country. The nonprofit has doled out about $7 million of the $11 million in that fund to more than 350 businesses — about 80% of which are owned by people of color. Sharkey said the rest of the money will be allocated by the end of the year.
This spring, businesses are open, boarded windows are restored and most of the rubble has been cleaned up.
"It felt like a war zone," she said. "For the most part, Lake Street feels like itself again."
Kelly Smith • 612-673-4141