Local business continues to stay afloat after receiving pandemic loans

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Witches Brew was first opened in 2018. The pub treated customers to an experience of unique drinks and an exciting, mysterious atmosphere with their eerie interior. However, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the newly opened bar hard.

Throughout most of 2020, the doors to the pub remained closed. But, owner Robert Smith was not going to give up just yet! The pub received two loans from the US Small Business Administration, the 2020 Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

These loans allowed the pub to open once again last Halloween. While the pub did not see much business following the spooky holiday, so far this fall, things are looking up.

“Business is picking back up again, we were doing really good, before 2020 hit and then after the pandemic hit business went down to almost nothing, but business is starting to pick back up again,” says Smith.  

The SBA was first created to provide counseling, capital and expertise to businesses across the nation. At the start of the pandemic, the administration began to offer several different loans.

PPP is an emergency disaster loan designed to provide funds to small businesses with under 500 employees who were affected by the 2020 COVID-19 crisis. The government has sent out nearly 12 million loans.

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan is another option for businesses. Both of these loans were crucial to South Bend’s Witches Brew. SBA explains saving these local spots is one way to show appreciation for what they provide.

“Our neighborhood coffee shop, or in the case of South Bend, the Witches Brew, but they do other things too, they make sure our supplies get to point A to point B, they feed us they, they clothe us, or give us a place to buy online or what we need for our everyday lives, so the SBA is proud to engage and help small businesses through the resources we offer because without small businesses where would we be,” says Laura Schafnitz, U.S. Small Business Administration.  

Visit Witches Brew here. Further resources from SBA here.

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