New initiative helps Black-owned businesses struggling after looting, coronavirus

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Help is on the way for some Black-owned business that were damaged by looters following the death of George Floyd and feeling financial strain of the pandemic.

A new initiative will hopefully help them survive a double crisis.

Nina Carr is the manager of one business on West Madison that was lucky enough to reopen.

"A lot of other Rainbows were looted. So we're just very grateful to serve our communities," she said.

While her clothing store escaped being looted, shops just steps away like Khan's Dollar Store and Rainbow Kids did not.

"They took a lot of clothes and they put a lot of holes in the walls get over to another store," said Mildred Reid at Rainbow Kids.

Between the coronavirus pan

"Government is going to have to help small businesses in Garfield Park and around the city get back on their feet,"said Alderman Jason Ervin , 28th Ward.

Some help may be on the way in the form of small business grants.

The grants are a brainchild of community activist Ja'Mal Green.

"These checks ain't gong to take long," Green said. "Very quick so they can get up and running."

Dr. Stephanie Johnson-Brown said the help will allow her to reopen the optometry business her father started that was destroyed by looters.

"Those are my people and I am here for them. They've been calling non-stop," she said.
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