Downtown Businesses Stay Open For Refuge
"You don't really think about your business at a time like this"
While some businesses are experiencing power outages because of a building collapse, many stores are still open.
The city of Sioux Falls has not required any business owners to evacuate or shut down.
They are allowing them to decide for themselves whether or not they want to keep their doors open.
“It’s terrifying,” says Vishnu Bunny Tattoos and Piercings owner Jeff Mann.
“There was a huge cloud of dust so you couldn’t really see anything for a while, once it cleared though once it cleared though we saw everything and it was really overwhelming,” adds Coffea store manager Laura Sinkgraven.
Business owners are still trying to process what happened right across the street.
“I don’t think this is something you can foresee really,” says Mann.
Vishnu Bunny Tattoos and Piercings are keeping their ‘now open’ light on.
But it’s not business as usual.
“We’ve canceled some appointments just to try to alleviate people trying to fight through this mess to get down here.”
Next door, the lack of power isn’t stopping Coffea from serving up hot coffee.
“We sent one of our employees to get coffee from the other shop just so we could provide coffee for the people that are out here working, so that they can have a refuge from the cold,” says Sinkgraven.
Through the coffee shop windows you can see the devastation from this building collapse.
That’s why both Coffea and Vishnu aren’t thinking about revenue tonight, but instead refuge.
“You don’t really think about your business at a time like this, you just want to help other people,” says Sinkgraven.
“It’s a resilient group of people and all of the businesses and workers down here are very supportive of each other,” adds Mann.
“I have all the faith in the world in our strong business community and our stakeholders,” says communication director for Downtown Sioux Falls Brienne Maner. “We are strong and we are obviously stronger together, and my heart is warm just thinking about all of the messages and phone calls we’ve already received and the concern.”
Downtown Sioux Falls says their advice to residents right now is to stay away from the area.
They’re asking people to avoid 10th and Philips for the remainder of Friday night.
The businesses right next to the collapse like Pave, 605 Running Company, Half Baked will be closed for the weekend.
The power was cut in those businesses.