Valley company forgives bills of Fresno businesses starting to reopen

Friday, June 19, 2020
Valley company forgives bills of Fresno businesses starting to reopen
HEARTWARMING: Just when she was preparing to reopen, the owner of a northeast Fresno boutique was hit by the cost of having to board up her store to protect against looting. Then s

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The doors are open at Pum Bum, a women's boutique in River Park shopping center.

Just last month, they boarded up their business to keep it safe from potential looting.

"It was a really scary time. We just knuckled down and prayed and did what we could hoped for the best," says owner Alma Wolverton.

Thankfully, there was peace.

However, Wolverton knew she would have a bill to pay for the boarding, until she got a surprise...

"The bill was a zero balance. They waived it for us and I couldn't help but tear up a little bit. This is the community coming in and supporting one another," says Wolverton.

Renaissance General Restoration Contracting restores homes from fires and boards up structures.

During the unrest, they got calls to board up businesses.

"I felt really bad for those businesses that here they are just able to open and get life started back up again and we had this new threat of civil unrest," says founder Don Dufer.

Dufer says they felt the need to help small businesses.

"We got together with our leadership and decided to pay it forward and just help them out and let them know how much we appreciated that we were still working and being an essential business and part of the community. We love Fresno, this is our home," Dufer says.

Twelve businesses in total had their bills forgiven.

As for Pum Bum, they're open for business and taking safety precautions to operate business.

The owner says she feels thankful to have experienced human kindness during an uncertain time.

While Renaissance says they didn't do this to be recognized, they plan to pay it forward in the future.