Months after riots destroyed their shops, Minneapolis business owners struggle to rebuild

City officials promised to help rebuild, but have not, one businessman said.

Updated: August 11, 2020 - 1:50pm

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A Minneapolis man whose business went up in flames during riots said that the city has not followed through on promises to help rebuild. 

Ibrahim Demaag, who immigrated from Ethiopia 30 years ago to pursue the American dream, said during an interview on the Ingraham Angle that the city sent him a $3,700 bill to pay for a fence surrounding his business, which he said was burned down by rioters.

"We left our country for a future to see the American dream and look how it happened," Demaag told Ingraham.

Many businesses were destroyed in riots following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Fox News on Monday interviewed local business owners who discussed their financial situation and what they couched as failed leadership from elected officials.

"You work hard. You pay our taxes. We have not done anything wrong," Demaag said. "The peaceful protests [were] hijacked [by rioters], then the government said, 'Oh we’re going to back [you] up and build your neighborhood.' Where? Where is the safety? Where is the rebuilding? It’s been 10 weeks. No response. No response."

Another business owner, Kacey White, said that her Town Talk Diner & Gastropub was burned down three days before it was set to reopen for outdoor service after months of being closed due to coronavirus.

"How do you justify burning down someone’s business? You don’t realize how many people have been put out of work from all of this," White told Ingraham.

According to White, she saw the police station go up in flames, and told her husband after waking him up that their business "is going to burn down any minute."

Chicago-Lake Liquors owner John Wolf said his business was looted, ransacked and then burned down. He explained that looters filled up shopping carts with his merchandise, which according to him is worth close to a million dollars. 

"It started with people with bats entering, people pushing on the front windows, and then hundreds of people went in and they looted and that went on for one hour, two hours, five hours and then they came back the next night, and then the next night," Wolf said.

"More importantly than that, it’s now taken 40 plus jobs away from the people … who live, shop and work in this neighborhood," he continued. "What happens to these families now?"

Officials in Minneapolis did not immediately responded for comment. 

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