February 28, 2022

Van Hollen Spotlights Maryland Small Business Owner Julie Verratti as State of the Union Virtual Guest

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) announced that Marylander Julie Verratti, co-owner and founder of Denizens Brewing Company, will be his virtual guest for President Biden’s State of the Union Address tomorrow evening. Denizens Brewing Company is a craft brewery established in 2014 with taprooms in Silver Spring and Riverdale Park, Maryland. As the Senator will highlight, 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. Tomorrow, in a virtual conversation, Senator Van Hollen and Verratti will discuss the vital importance of this relief and other federal small business programs in keeping our economy and small businesses afloat during the pandemic. 

While members of Congress in the past have often invited constituents to join them in-person as guests to the State of the Union, in-person attendance will be limited due to pandemic safety protocols. However, Senator Van Hollen extended this virtual invitation as a way to honor Marylanders and highlight their stories of resilience amid the pandemic.

“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,” said Senator Van Hollen. “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.” 

“As we start transitioning out of the recovery phase of COVID-19, I am deeply honored to be here to represent small businesses across the country,” Verratti said. “Denizens Brewing Co. was one of millions of small businesses who were supported and helped by the leadership of President Biden, Vice President Harris, Senator Van Hollen, and the Democrats’ small business relief programs.”