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Fundraiser set up for damaged Spring Hope businesses

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SPRING HOPE — With the collapse of a roof last week, four downtown businesses went from a tough year to a tragic year.

Spring Hope Area Chamber of Commerce Vice President Ethan Vester set up a crowdfunding page on GoFundMe.com to help with expenses arising from the fall of a warehouse and damage to adjacent buildings.

The Main Street building closed businesses that have already suffered from COVID-19 shutdowns earlier this year.

Bubbles and Bows Pet Salon, owned and operated by Betsy Strickland, will face temporary closure and subsequent loss of income due to the damage.

Faith Christian Ministries will also be closed until structural repairs to the roof can be made. The glass storefront will need to be replaced to secure the building.

Clark Fine Furniture didn’t carry insurance on the building and will be facing significant cleanup costs.

Due to proximity, Cherish’D Crown Natural Hair Care and Braiding is also closed until a structural analysis of the entire building deems it safe for use.

Vester said the businesses need help. He says all donations will be used to return Bubbles and Bows and Faith Christian Ministries to operation with subsequent funds used to clean up the collapsed 204 W. Main St. structure. 

“We have an immediate need for an excavator and operator to carefully remove the remaining compromised structure,” Vester said. “Until the demolition is complete, cleanup and repairs to the neighboring structures cannot proceed.”

The Clark building was not insured due to its condition, and though repairs had begun, the structure couldn’t hold on any longer, Vester said.

“John Clark is like many small business owners during the pandemic,” Vester said. “He’s lost orders and revenue. Early estimates put a price tag on a demolition contractor at $10,000.”

The GoFundMe page had raised more than $1,700 as of Monday morning. Donors include Janice Gwaltney, site manager at the Country Doctor Museum in Bailey and wife of Spring Hope Mayor Buddy Gwaltney; and Donna Little, owner of the Little General Store, which recently closed its doors permanently after only a year in business in downtown Spring Hope.

To donate, visit www.gofundme.com and search for “Spring Hope Building Collapse Relief Fund.” 

Donations to GoFundMe campaigns aren’t tax-deductible. Consumer watchdogs recommend that supporters only donate to online crowdfunding pages when they know and can vouch for the listed individual who will collect and distribute funds. Nonprofit organizations and trust accounts at banks and credit unions offer donors more financial controls, but the ease of giving online and promoting campaigns on social media have made crowdfunding a $438 million annual business in the United States.