March 01, 2022

Van Hollen Meets with Virtual State of the Union Guest Julie Verratti

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) met via Zoom with his State of the Union virtual guest Julie Verratti, co-owner and founder of Denizens Brewing Company. The two discussed her small business which she co-founded with her wife and brother-in-law, how it has been impacted by COVID-19, and how the federal pandemic relief they received has supported them during a challenging time. Denizens applied for and received a $448,000 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, which was fully forgiven as 100 percent of it was used to keep employees on payroll. PPP was created by the CARES Act which the Senator helped enact 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 people call it – and that absolutely saved us. Had we not been able to get that $448,000 loan in 2020 – right around April/May of 2020 – we would have ran out of cash, and I have no idea what would have happened – not just to our employees long term but to the business long term. We may have had to permanently shutter. And so, I am so grateful to you Senator for stepping up, and I know you were a huge leader in helping develop that program – and not just that but all of the recovery programs that have come down the pike, including the American Rescue Plan that passed last March,” Verratti said during today’s conversation.

Upon 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 more to do, we are well on the road to recovery – having delivered lifesaving vaccines to turn the tide on this pandemic; worked to keep our small businesses open; and created millions of new job opportunities across the country. The pandemic has brought enormous hardship and loss, but throughout, so many Marylanders have shown extraordinary resilience – including small business owners like Julie. People like her are the true drivers of our ongoing recovery, and I’m proud to highlight her story as my virtual guest to President Biden’s first State of the Union address. I’m committed to working together to continue supporting our small businesses, workers, families, seniors, and more as we build back from this pandemic.”