The Lake Street Council announced today a new campaign sharing ways people can shop local and support small businesses on Lake Street this holiday season. The initiative features a new interactive map and other online resources that spotlight locally owned businesses.
“The holiday shopping season is very important for my business because it’s when I usually have the most sales,” said Barlin Kadiye, owner of Baarla’s Boutique on Lake Street. “This year I’m worried because of the coronavirus. It has been so difficult for small businesses.”
The new shopping resource includes an interactive online map that highlights bookstores, small gift shops, clothing shops and other retail businesses currently open along Lake Street. The Lake Street Council also offers a guide on how to find and support Latinx-owned businesses and tips for travelling to Lake Street.
“Many small businesses on Lake Street are working to rebuild and recover following the civil uprising this summer and the ongoing challenges of COVID-19. It is more important than ever to support them,” said Allison Sharkey, executive director of the Lake Street Council. “Whether you shop in person or order online, every dollar you spend on Lake Street helps keep storefronts open and local families supported.”
Following the civil uprising prompted by George Floyd’s death, more than 400 Lake Street businesses incurred hundreds of millions of dollars in collective damage. Many of the affected businesses include those belonging to low-income entrepreneurs, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) families, and immigrant business owners. To assist owners in rebuilding and reopening, the Lake Street Council created the We Love Lake Street Fund in May, which to-date has provided more than $5 million in grants to 300 different small businesses along Lake Street.
Lake Street Council is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization which engages, serves and advocates for the Lake Street community in Minneapolis to ensure the vitality and prosperity of the commercial corridor. Its work includes research and strategic planning, business recruitment, safety and security; branding, marketing and public relations; community events, online and door-to-door communications; commercial energy retrofits and energy savings; small business advocacy; and management of Lake Street capital and natural resources. Its programs are intended to uplift the existing business community while raising awareness among potential shoppers and new business investors.