Businesses in Ferguson continue to rebuild despite setbacks -

Businesses in Ferguson continue to rebuild despite setbacks

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More than 200 businesses in Ferguson and surrounding areas reportedly suffered losses following unrest to the killing of Michael Brown Jr. last August.

The aftermath left behind tarnished storefronts, whereas many entrepreneurs experienced a significant drop in business revenue.

The Urban League started construction on a new community center, being built on the grounds of a former QuikTrip gas station in Ferguson. However, other damaged sites are still visible in the area.

To alleviate the cost of rebuilding, The Saint Louis Economic Development Partnership provided loans and cleanup for approximately 70 businesses.

Galen Gondolfi works for the non-profit organization, Justine Petersen Inc., which also granted micro loans to more than 50 businesses in the past year.

"Ferguson is built on small businesses, and the future of Ferguson is going to depend on the vitality of small businesses," said Gondolfi.

One of those loans helped Keianna and Ronnell Burns keep their salon open.

"In the beginning it was hard for us. The walk-in traffic and revenue coming in was very slow, but a year later we're kind of back to where we were," said Keianna Burns.

Twenty damaged businesses remain closed, but most owners said they are determined to rebuild.

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