Following the devastating fire at the Archer House in 2020, the NDDC established a fundraiser through GiveMN to support the businesses and workers affected by the disaster. In total, 180+ donors from across the country have raised $18,525 to support our community. Although we still don’t know the full extent of the damage, these funds will make a huge difference in the lives of the businesses and workers who have been displaced. If you were a contributor, thank you. The outpouring of generosity has touched us deeply as well as the business owners, managers, and employees.
Over the past few weeks we’ve had ongoing conversations with the businesses to better understand their needs and future plans as they await decisions from insurance and other assistance options. Unfortunately, three of the four businesses (Chapati, Smoqehouse, and the Archer House Inn + Bar) will not be able to reopen in the near future. Consequently, their share of the funds will go directly to help the employees forced out of work, a plan which was enthusiastically supported by the business owners/managers.
Thankfully, one business (Paper Petalum) is able to forge ahead and has already secured plans to move into the space at 313 Division (formerly Jenkins Jewelers). Their share of the funds raised will go towards their insurance deductibles as well as a deposit on renovations for their new space. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Paper Petalum will continue to be a mainstay on Division Street, hopefully for many years to come!
With time, we can only hope that the other businesses will be able to follow suit. The Archer House was a historic landmark, and simply irreplaceable, but it is ultimately the people who live and work here that make downtown Northfield so great.