South Minneapolis beautification attempts to draw business to area damaged during riots

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Local small businesses continue to struggle in south Minneapolis weeks after unrest damaged dozens of businesses in the once-vibrant Uptown area.

Sunday, to help give the Lyn-Lake neighborhood some life, people from all over the metro met to fill planter boxes that will line West Lake Street and the surrounding area.

"Everyone has only seen our tragedy. They haven’t seen our triumph, and this is a great exhibit of our triumph," said Faatemah Ampey, owner of SuiteSpot Salonspa in the Lyn-Lake neighborhood.

"What an amazing community we have of people coming together for each other to serve the community," Ampey said about the flower box-creating event.

She helped put it together — Ampey has also organized a food drive to help with the disparities created from the unrest. Despite SuiteSpot and surrounding businesses being open, she worries people won’t stop to support them because there is still plywood on windows and evidence of destruction.

But Ampey says it’s not all about business. On top of a tough economy, as a Black woman, she knows bringing the community together helps on many levels.

"As a business owner, as a mom, as a person of color … I want to encourage everyone to basically look at what you can do as a citizen to help heal your community, to help patronize businesses, and to keep Minnesota going," she said.