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Survey: Homeowners And Businesses Support Reopening George Floyd Square

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A survey of businesses and homeowners in the 38th and Chicago area shows strong support for re-opening the intersection and creating a permanent memorial for George Floyd, Reg Chapman reports (2:06) WCCO 4 News At 5 - April 1, 2021

Video Transcript

- A survey of businesses and homeowners in the 38th and Chicago area shows strong support for reopening the intersection and creating a permanent memorial for George Floyd.

- The city sent out more than 4,000 surveys, and close to 700 were returned. The overwhelming opinion of those who answered was to reopen the intersection. WCCO's Reg Chapman has more on what business owners want to see happen to that area.

REG CHAPMAN: Business owners say the barricades and lawlessness in the area of 38th and Chicago has had a negative impact on their bottom line.

SAM WILLIS: While we've had an economic strain on our businesses.

REG CHAPMAN: Sam Willis owns Just Turkey.

SAM WILLIS: Right here, we got a green--

REG CHAPMAN: He and other business owners in the area have formed a coalition, working with the city to find solutions to their economic downfall.

JACOB FREY: Right now, the city is set to move forward with a series of $50,000 no-interest forgivable loans to businesses that have been substantially impacted over these last seven, eight, and nine months.

REG CHAPMAN: A show of support for the city for 15 to 25 businesses near George Floyd Square.

SAM WILLIS: It's a start.

REG CHAPMAN: For Willis, who lost 75% of his business, the help from the city is a drop in the bucket, but he is waiting to see what's been promised.

SAM WILLIS: Our 38th Street coalition hasn't received anything, outside of funds. In other areas, Lake Street and other parts of the city has received funds.

REG CHAPMAN: What Willis and the business coalition wants is the reopening of 38th and Chicago. The results of a survey sent to people in the area show a strong support for reopening the intersection. People are split between relocating the fist sculpture north of the intersection and keeping it at the center, where it currently sits. Willis is hoping for a compromise, maybe creating a walk of recognition.

- Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor.

REG CHAPMAN: Somewhat like the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but in this case a memorial for Floyd.

SAM WILLIS: For the pedestrians, they'll be able to walk up and down the sidewalks, and the flow of traffic can still be going. And no one can get injured.

REG CHAPMAN: Reg Chapman, WCCO 4 News.

- City staff is working with the community to refine the design options before they move forward. The Minneapolis police and federal law enforcement partners have stepped up enforcement in that area to improve safety around George Floyd Square.