Community Helps North Iowa Business Rebuild

Posted at: 12/26/2012 10:30 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 NEWS) --  It was just under a month ago today, on November 27th, that a fire destroyed Minnis Woodworking in St. Ansgar, leaving the owners to question their future.

The building was deemed a total loss and with very few suitable places in the county to move to, it looked like it might be the end for the young cabinet-building company that first started back in 2004.

But due to some fortunate timing a newly completed building was available. The structure, originally intended to attract new businesses to the area, was constructed thanks to a partnership between local banks and development groups.

All in all the community’s contribution to the project totaled roughly $750,000.

“Everybody in the community has just reached out and offered anything that was available,” new owner Kelly Minnis said. “Everybody was just willing to do whatever they could to help us out.”

Officials who helped organize the project said it would have been nearly impossible for the family to afford the building without the community’s help.

“It is a real testament to a rural Iowa community where the banks did come together,” said Brenda Dryer, executive director of Mitchell County Economic Development. “They're a wonderful family and we're glad to be able to put together all the details to make it happen.”

For the past month the company has operated out of a temporary building offered up by a local business owner. And while there is still some work to be done on the new building, the owner said he hopes to have his equipment and crew moved in and ready to work by March.