Coronavirus and protests hit downtown Minneapolis with double whammy

Survey found dozens of business owners may leave downtown Minneapolis

Coronavirus brought downtown Minneapolis to a halt earlier this year, and now calls to abolish the police have some business owners saying they are leaving town.

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Local news station KCCO reports that a survey by the Downtown Council found 45 business owners are thinking about packing up and leaving due to the lack of people and plans to possibly dismantle the police force.

“We are seeing a lot of restaurants take a hit right now,” realtor Kris Lindahl told KCCO. “We are seeing business owners wanting to eliminate the overhead, especially in a world where it looks like there’s going to be a more hybrid approach happening – and people are going to be  working from home – business owners and companies are looking to downsize.”

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The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reported that Downtown Council CEO Steve Cramer wrote a letter to Mayor Jacob Frey in June saying that talk of abolishing the police has led to "ambivalence at best, and outright rejection of Minneapolis at worst, as a place to invest and create or maintain jobs."

Minneapolis City Council voted for a resolution in June to “create a transformative new model for cultivating safety in our city.”

“Our commitment is to end policing as we know it and to recreate systems of public safety that actually keep us safe,” City Council President Lisa Bender told CNN.

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Following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody in May, protests that started off as peaceful but turned violent at times swept through the city.

The Associated Press reported in June that looting and property damage caused $55 million worth of damage to at least 220 buildings.

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