COVID-19 relief options and additional resources

Tamarack Tap Room Finds a Way Forward with SBA Assistance

Tamarack Taproom owner Bob Kinsella remembers March 17, 2020 vividly, sharing, “When I heard that the restaurants were being shut down due to COVID-19, I rushed back to my office to check our bank account and thought - I can't see a path forward. I truly thought that the Taproom, along with three other restaurants I co-own, was done for.”

As Minnesota and the country closed the doors of businesses that weren’t deemed to provide essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants like his were left wondering if they had a future at all.

As the pandemic progressed, Kinsella heard about and the Taproom received financial support from the U.S. Small Business Administration. His restaurants benefited from the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Advance, the Paycheck Protection Program, and SBA Debt Relief payments, as well as various local grants.

Kinsella connected with the staff at the SBA’s Minnesota District early in the pandemic for extra support.  That assistance and a large indoor footprint combined with an existing large outdoor patio allowed the Taproom the ability to reopen with restrictions to survive and become cash-flow positive almost immediately.

During the first shutdown, the Taproom laid off 100% of its staff, including the owners. With the help of PPP and EIDL when the second shutdown happened, they knew they could keep people employed.

Fast forward to the spring of 2021 and the Taproom is current with all its vendors and staff are back at the full workforce.  A little help from Mother Nature in the form of an unseasonably warm spring has brought extra business to their patio as well.

“Everything that the SBA team did to help restaurants and small businesses during this pandemic have been critical. When we closed in March 2020, there wasn’t a path forward without help.  We’ve always been on our own and didn’t know we could reach out to a partner in the government and have them help you.

We wouldn’t have survived without the PPP and other SBA assistance during the pandemic. It’s been a lifesaver.”