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Lake Street Small Businesses Rebuild With Help From UnitedHealth Group Grants

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - Businesses on Lake Street that were destroyed during riots and unrest are getting some much needed help.

On Friday, UnitedHealth Group announced grant partnerships with five non-profits to assist with rebuilding. The grants will amount to millions of dollars aimed at helping businesses.

With city leaders and non-profit leaders in attendance, there was talk about the future of Lake Street with a clear goal of bringing back businesses vital to the neighborhood.

One of the businesses benefiting is the Seward pharmacy, which was essentially burned and destroyed during the riots after the death of George Floyd.

Elias Usso opened the pharmacy last year. They cater to a diverse customer base and specialize in home deliveries for seniors.

"On May 27, our pharmacy was looted, destroyed. Literally we lost everything we had overnight," said Usso.

With help from UnitedHealth Group and Heart of America, the pharmacy is being renovated and re-imagined. They opened their doors in September and are looking to add new shelves, walls, and other furnishings in the coming weeks.

"Lake street is our home. Minneapolis is our home. Minnesota is our home. We are going to come back strong. Lake Street will come back strong," said Usso.

"It's an example of Minnesota's on-going work towards a better future," said UnitedHealth Group CEO Brett Edelson.

Seward Pharmacy received a $165,000 grant from this partnership. The pharmacy is also getting consulting support along with help from volunteers.

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