Businesses recover with community support


Winona community members express their support to business owners. SARAH PICKAR
Winona community members express their support to business owners.

Cassie Tokach/Winonan

On Friday, Sept. 13, business owners Amy Jo Marks, Paul Brosnahan and Torry Moore were affected by one of Winona’s biggest fires. All three of these businesses are enduring hardships at this time but are eased through the community.

Over the course of the past week they have worked to reclaim and salvage what remains of their businesses both emotionally and physically.

Brosnahan was fortunate to be able to continue operations in Brosnahan Law Firm within hours of the devastation. Due to company protocol, all files were backed up onto external hard drives. By 5 p.m. the night of the fire, the Brosnahan Firm was given a space to relocate by Home Federal Bank and had received new computers from HBC, Inc.

“We’ve been given a gift. In our business we deal with tragedy every day and it’s amazing to hear all of these people asking, ‘How can I help you?’” Brosnahan said.

Brosnahan not only runs his law firm but also is a landlord to three Winona State University students. He is working with the students and helping them after they lost everything in their possession.

Marks, owner of Blooming Grounds and Pretty Little Things on Third, and Moore, owner of Sole Sport, have been working on cleaning out their buildings and accounting for the residual inventory.

Marks said she would like to stay in the building, since she is planning on cleaning and restoring what she can. She said she is maintaining hope through the community’s support.

Both Winona State and Saint Mary’s University have reached out to Marks; Saint Mary’s golf team and Winona State Women’s rugby team helped with the clean up.

“We appreciate all the support we’ve been getting from the community,” Marks said.

Brosnahan also said he is so grateful for his friends from the university since they have provided help and support.


Contact Cassie at [email protected]