NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Business owners are getting some much-needed help after the Christmas Day bombing.
It's coming from an effort started by the Camping World CEO and CNBC host Marcus Lemonis.
Lemonis said he was in Nashville filming a documentary a year ago and fell in love with the hospitality. He told News4 the fund is his way of giving back.
I have set up firstname.lastname@example.org specifically for any local business destroyed by the explosion. Our team will be providing cash/funding, insurance and real estate guidance , clean up efforts etc. please spread the word. #NashvilleStrong pic.twitter.com/VWAzhQ6q2R— Marcus Lemonis (@marcuslemonis) December 26, 2020
"That repetitive sound just being played over and over that you kind of hear it in your head now,” Sandy Lee said referencing the recording coming from the RV.
Sandy and her husband, Geff, own The Ensemble and Simply The Best $10 Boutique on 2nd Avenue North. They’re among dozens of business owners impacted by the Christmas Day bombing.
A gofundme page has been started on their behalf.
"We've had fires. We've had floods. We've had tornadoes. A bomb? No,” Geff Lee, her husband said.
The couple hasn’t had the chance to see their businesses in-person. They’ve only seen pictures of the devastation.
"The damage was total. I mean the Ensemble was almost ground zero,” Lee said.
Now they’re getting help from a fellow entrepreneur. Marcus Lemonis put together a fund to aid businesses affected by the blast.
“So, on Christmas morning, I was stunned like you guys were, like everybody was about what happened,” Lemonis said.
Lemonis said the goal is to help fill the gap a gofundme page or other assistance can’t.
“I wanted to organize it in a way where it's a forgivable loan and we can really understand what steps they need to actually get reopened,” Lemonis said.
The support hasn’t stopped there. Small business owners across the country have reached out too.
“I think if they gave or wrote something, it's like giving us hope gave them hope that they were going to survive too,” Lee said.
Lemonis is stepping in to help these business owners move forward. He’s having them answer questions like what it will take to reopen, find another location, and keep people employed.
One question of how do you gauge your success stood out to the couple.
“If we're up and running within a certain time frame, that's our success and if we don't, our heart tells us give that money back so another business can have an opportunity to get up and running,” Lee said.
The fund started with $500,000 and has now more than doubled so far.
That’s thanks to some donations from celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, John Rich, Sheryl Crow. All have Nashville ties.
If you would like to help or donate to the cause, more information can be found on the fund’s website.
Any contribution will go a long way to helping out the families affected by the Christmas Day bombing - please support Nashville 30 Day Fund and those devastated. I put the first $500,000 but it will take millions. They need local/state/federal help NOW https://t.co/TvdzIwsqiy— Marcus Lemonis (@marcuslemonis) December 30, 2020