Business owner: Kenosha 'looks like a war zone’

'Every single business was affected in my downtown area in some way, shape or form,' she said

Kenosha, Wis., “looks like a war zone,” small business owner Kimberly Warner told “Mornings with Maria” on Wednesday.

“Our downtown and our uptown is completely destroyed,” Warner, who owns Authentique Gifts and RePour'd Candle Factory in Kenosha, said.


“I’ve never seen anything like it in my entire life and certainly we didn’t expect it,” she added.

Warner noted that “every single business was affected in my downtown area in some way, shape or form.”

A store owner looks at the damage to his office furniture business that was torched the previous evening during another night of unrest on August 25, 2020 in Kenosha, Wis. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

She also said that “we’ve got an incredible community” and “everyone has come together.”

Warner said the city has received “so much support” from her customers and from volunteers coming from other cities offering to help with the downtown cleanup efforts.

She said she has seen “people with brooms just walking around sweeping up glass.”

Warner also noted that “what we need most right now is that financial assistance to rebuild the town.”

On Tuesday, President Trump got an up-close look at the damage caused by recent riots and looting in Kenosha – touring property damaged by the violence, blasting "anti-American" riots and promising to help devastated businesses rebuild.

The president announced $1 million to Kenosha law enforcement "so you have extra money to go out and do what you have to do." He also announced $4 million to support local businesses affected by the violence, and $42 million to support public safety statewide – including support for law enforcement and prosecutors.

“We’re going to get it fixed up, we’re going to help people rebuild their businesses in Kenosha ... we’re getting it straightened out,” Trump told reporters as he began his trip.

He toured the area, including a burned-out building still smelling of smoke, alongside officials such as Attorney General William Barr and acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf. He spoke with members of law enforcement as he visited the site, as well as small business owners, some of whom reportedly lost their businesses during the riots.

Warner, whose business was not destroyed, heard the president’s promise to small business owners in person on Tuesday and told “Mornings with Maria” that it was “an incredible experience.”

“We were not destroyed, very fortunately, but I’m here representing the smaller women in small business downtown,” Warner told the president, according to a transcript provided by the White House.

“Great thanks for saving our town,” she added.

On Wednesday, Warner noted that in Kenosha “there are memories and hundreds of years of brick now just laying on the floor.”

“We’re all hard workers,” she said. “We’re small business owners. We don’t make a lot of money doing this, we do it because we love it and we love our community and we definitely love our downtown.”

“We’re a small community but we are mighty,” she added.

When asked if there is optimism to rebuild and if that is the collective feeling among small business owners in Kenosha, Warner said, “100%.”

She acknowledged that “a few days earlier, I don’t know if I would have been able to say that because we were all sort of living in fear.”


Warner went on to say that “the air has shifted and everyone that the president asked yesterday that was with me who did have businesses that were literally destroyed, everything gone, one being a 103-year-old camera shop, I mean the history, you can’t even put words to that, but every single one of them was committed to rebuilding.”

The protests and riots were sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake last week – something protesters point to as another example of police brutality against Black men. Video seen on social media shows an officer shooting at Blake as he reached into his vehicle, where Wisconsin officials later said a knife was found. The shooting left Blake paralyzed, according to his father.


Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.