Mall of America offers retail space to struggling small businesses
Mall of America’s ‘Community Commons’ opens today, which donates unoccupied space to small businesses hit by violent protests and the pandemic. FOX Business’ Grady Trimble with more.
The largest mall in the United States is opening a dedicated retail space to businesses encumbered by the pandemic and unprecedented civil unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
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As a way to lift businesses from the upheaval and fill vacancy, Minneapolis’s Mall of America will donate free space to 17 local stores in the “Community Commons.”
As a temporary haven, Community Commons will serve as a means for the shops to resume business while they make future plans until spring of 2021. The small businesses will occupy a 5,000 square-foot space, filling the void from a previous tenant who closed down.
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The retail market within Mall of America will include a variety of stores ranging from apparel and accessories to food and beverage to personal care and family gifts. One of the stores relocating to the space, Urban 29, had a two year run before being decimated by the riots.
“Back in May, my storefront was destroyed in the riots,” store owner of Urban 29 Joyce Sanders told FOX Business’s Grady Trimble. “It was looted and set on fire. I lost everything.”
Sanders not only lost her inventory, but also the building that housed her store, as protestors set the property aflame. The damage put the clothing store owner out of work for four months until she found refuge at Community Commons.
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Now Sanders will have a shot at setting up shop at one of the world’s most coveted real estate for retail alongside 520 retail stores and restaurants.