Lake Street businesses get financial boost from anonymous Urban Ventures donor

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At Magali's on Lake Street in Minneapolis, owner Vladimir Lema is trying to pick up the pieces.

"We were closed for about three months, then after that we got the protest and all the riots going on for about a month," Lema said.

His bridal and formalwear store was vandalized and looted following the death of George Floyd.

"We lost 80 percent of our inventory," he said. "They took everything from dresses to tuxedos."

But Monday marks a new beginning.

Businesses like his are getting $5000 checks, no questions asked, from Urban Ventures, a south Minneapolis nonprofit with a mission of educating kids, strengthening their families and building a healthy community.

"This won’t get them all the way back, but, boy some of them can start making money now, some of them can feed their families now, they can pay rent now, and that was important to us," said John Turnipseed, executive vice president of Urban Ventures.

Urban Ventures says there are about 150 small locally run businesses in the community that will be getting money thanks to an anonymous $800,000 donation.

The money will help with things like taking down boards and replacing windows.

 "We’ve always told our neighbors we're here for them," Turnipseed said.

For Lema, the money will allow him to make repairs, order more products and stay in business on Lake Street, an area he believes can do better together.

"This is about being reborn and adapting ourselves to the situation that we are passing through right," Lema said. "I believe in this area, I’ve been here for seven years, I believe we can do better."