Thursday July 9, 2020
By Alex Jokich
Small businesses in the Twin Cities are facing unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and recent unrest.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS is partnering with the Neighborhood Development Center in a "Rebuild Twin Cities" campaign to help local businesses keep their doors open.
Rebuild Twin Cities Campaign
Banadir Pharmacy on Lake Street in south Minneapolis estimates they suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses after being looted twice during the riots.
"I look at it as, you know, the hiccups of life," said Dr. Edris Kosar, the owner. "It will come and you cannot prevent them. They may come tomorrow but you got to keep moving."
Dr. Kosar is originally from Somalia and has a passion for helping immigrants navigate the challenges of the health care system
"There was a great need to provide what I call 'culturally competent pharmacy services' to immigrant communities who need it most," Dr. Kosar said. "So once I figured out that was a calling for me, it was time to take a risk."
He built Banadir Pharmacy from the ground up eight years ago.
While there are always challenges in operating a small business, he said this year has been unlike anything he has ever experienced, from construction blocking his business to struggles with the pandemic and destruction during the riots.
Looters broke windows and doors at Banadir Pharmacy, damaged property and ransacked prescriptions. Dr. Kosar said the looters stole up to 70% of the medication inside the pharmacy.
"The most fortunate thing for me was they hadn't taken our server, the computer that we really needed to function," Dr. Kosar said.
Within just a few days of the riots, the staff cleaned up the debris, boarded up the windows and Banadir Pharmacy was back open.
"We are part of the community. As you walk through Lake Street, everybody is crawling back, slowly coming back," Dr. Kosar said.
He said this has been a very difficult time but he is committed to serving the community and hopes people will rally around local businesses in their time of need.
"Support your local community, support your local causes because it has a ripple effect within the communities," Dr. Kosar said.