Vice President Pence says federal government will consider help for Minneapolis businesses damaged in riots

Vice President Mike Pence listened as a tearful Minneapolis hair salon owner told the story of the night her business burned down in the riots after George Floyd’s death.

"It was horrible to stand there and see your business burn," Flora Westbrooks told the vice president at a campaign event on Thursday. "Everything you worked for, your whole livelihood."

Pence urged her not to give up.

You’re going to build back," he told her. "You’re going to build back. This community is going to be with you and we’re going to be with you."

However, in July, the Trump administration denied a $15 million request from Gov. Walz to help clean up Minneapolis and St. Paul and repair damage to infrastructure. Much of that infrastructure helps small businesses.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS asked Pence about that and whether aid to the Twin Cities might be reconsidered.

"Well, as the president said, that’s under consideration and I have to tell you when I go back to the White House I’m going to share the stories directly with the president I heard here today," he said.

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Pence also said the White House is re-starting talks with Congress about a new round of coronavirus relief that could include direct aid to businesses damaged in rioting in the Twin Cities and other major cities across the country.

"We’re going to continue to work with Democrats in the House and the Senate to see if they’ll come to the table and relief for families and businesses that have been impacted by rioting and looting is very much a part of that," he said.