Van Hollen meets virtual State of the Union guest Julie Verratti


March 01, 2022

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) met via Zoom with virtual State of the Union guest Julie Verratti, co-owner and founder of Denizens Brewing Company. The two discussed his small business which he co-founded with his wife and brother-in-law, how it was impacted by COVID-19 and how the federal pandemic assistance they received supported them during a difficult period. The residents applied for and received a $448,000 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, which was fully canceled because 100% of it was used to keep employees on the payroll. The PPP was created by the CARES Act which the senator helped sign into law in 2020. Watch their discussion here.

“We were lucky enough to be able to take advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program – the PPP as some call it – and it absolutely saved us. If we hadn’t been able to get that $448,000 loan in 2020 – around April/May 2020 – we would have run out of money, and I have no idea what would have happened – not only to our employees at long term but for the long term company. We may have had to close permanently. And so, I’m very grateful to you, senator, for taking over, and I know you’ve been a great leader in helping to develop this program – and not only that, but all the stimulus programs that have been put in place, including the US rescue plan. which happened last March,” Verratti said during the conversation today.

Announcing Verratti as his virtual guest yesterday, Senator Van Hollen said“As we mark just over a year since President Biden was sworn in, our nation, our economy, and the American people are on much stronger footing. While we still have much to do, we are on the road to recovery – having delivered lifesaving vaccines to turn the tide of this pandemic; worked to keep our small businesses open; and created millions of new job opportunities across the country. The pandemic has resulted in huge hardship and loss, but throughout so many Marylanders have shown extraordinary resilience, including small business owners like Julie. People like her are the real drivers of our ongoing recovery, and I am proud to highlight her story as a virtual guest at President Biden’s first State of the Union address. I pledge to work together to continue supporting our small businesses, our ers, our families, our seniors and more as we recover from this pandemic.

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