Local Business Recovery Fund aids Union Street Taproom, other businesses with grants

Reopening The Region

ERWIN, Tenn. (WJHL) – We’ve all been waiting for the light to turn green, so to speak.

“We believe that us and downtown Erwin and Unicoi County as a whole is ready to reopen,” Union Street Taproom owner Michael Baker said.

Waiting for our businesses and downtown areas to look normal again.

“It’s a real strain on the individual that’s the owner because they’re not only responsible for their business but responsible for the community their employees and their families,” Baker said.

While many have reopened, some have to wait at the red light a bit longer.

“A little unfair that you can still go to Lowe’s and still go to restaurants even with the parameters and the guidelines but nobody can come in here and just enjoy a craft beer,” Baker said.

It’s the bars and taprooms like Union Street Taproom in Erwin that are still left without reopening guidelines from the Governor. While he waits, Baker received some other good news this week.

“I was very excited when Andy Dietrich called me and said that we had been awarded the grant it was a huge blessing to Union Street Taproom,” Baker said.

Region AHEAD organized a Local Business Recovery Fund, through fundraising and donations, they provided struggling small business owners with grants.

ALSO READ: Local Business Recovery Fund announces first round of grants

“The reason why we did this is to help local businesses stay open because if they stay open they can keep people employed and that’s what it’s all about,” Dietrich said.

Baker plans to give a lot of that money to his employees, and he’s just ready to get back in business.

“We feel that we have been closed long enough we’ve been closed since the end of March and I believe that June 2nd is an adequate time frame but we will follow the directive from the governor’s office,” Baker said.

You can find Michael Epps on Facebook and Twitter.

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