Boston Marathon Bombings: Stores Stay Closed as Local Business Starts Relief Fund

PHOTO: Boston Police look at blown out windows at the scene near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.

As the Boston Police keep a crime scene perimeter of about 12 blocks around Boylston Street, several businesses wait for guidance from authorities to decide when to open their doors. But the companies in the surrounding Boston area went back to work shell-shocked after two bombings hit spectators of the Boston Marathon on Monday.

"It's definitely shocking. One day you're literally parking your car right at the finish line. They shut the street down for the marathon and the next day you're happy you weren't there, to say the least," said Mark Bollman, founder of Boston-based men's brand Ball and Buck.

The company's retail store on the fashionable Newbury Street, which runs parallel to Boylston Street, near Dartmouth Street, remained closed on Tuesday.

The Boston Marathon finish line is on Boylston Street between Dartmouth and Exeter Street. His company has about 10 employees.

Bollman said city officials told him the surrounding area should be closed for up to two days. He said he hopes to open his doors by Monday. Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis III said the police decreased the crime scene area Tuesday to 12 blocks from 15 blocks.

Read more: Boston Marathon Breakthrough With Recovery of Bomb Remains

Bollman, who has lived in Boston since 2006, sells only products made in the U.S. The name of his company comes from a method George Washington used to load his muskets during the American Revolution.

It's a method that combined "smaller pellets to create a greater impact on a target," Bollman said.

He's using that premise to start a relief fund for the Boston Chapter of the Red Cross. He will donate 10 percent of sales at his brick and mortar store to the Red Cross and is inviting other businesses to participate.

"We could send a check ourselves. The goal would be to present a vehicle for other businesses to say, 'That's a great way to do something that's meaningful,' rather than not having to do anything at all," Bollman said.

Starting Wednesday, businesses across the country can sign up to participate on with whatever percentage they choose, and customers can see a list of those businesses. Bollman said he's asking businesses to send their designated portion of sales directly to the Red Cross in Boston.

"Anything is better than nothing. When you think about something like this and as a business in the area or across the nation, you want to do something," Bollman said. "I just want to make an easy way to hopefully make a contribution, promote awareness, get back on your feet and keep moving."

In Photos: Messages of Hope After Marathon Bombing

A number of other businesses near the finish line on Boylston Street remained closed on Tuesday. One trendy restaurant in Boston said some members of its staff, guests and runners were injured by the second bomb. The restaurant, Forum, had been open for business for about a year.

A message was posted on its Facebook page, thanking customers for their "kind words, prayers and thoughts."

"Forum was ground zero as the second bomb exploded right on our patio, injuring several guests, runners and some of our staff. The images of horror and pain that some of us witnessed will be hard to forget," the Facebook post stated.

The Trader Joe's, which is a three-minute walk away from Forum, also remained closed on Tuesday. The Boston Public Library's Central Library in Copley Square was closed Tuesday but its 25 branches remain open.

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