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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Biden cabinet member tours Wilmington biz helped by federal aid

At Stitch House, co-owner Rob Snowberger says about 25 workers are back on the payroll now after nearly everyone was laid off last year. That’s close to their maximum staffing level of 30 people.

“We slowly worked our way back and now we’re just about at full strength, we’re praying that the delta variant stays away,” he said.

Stitch House opened on St. Patrick’s Day in 2018 and was contemplating how to celebrate the start of its third year when the pandemic squashed those plans.

SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman (second from right) talks with Stitch House Brewery co-owner Rob Snowberger during a tour of Wilmington businesses with U.S. Sen. Chris Coons and U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester Monday morning. (Mark Eichmann/WHYY)

“One minute you’re looking at your growth and you’re looking at, ‘Hey, [we] should do a three-year anniversary party or something,’” Snowberger said. “Then the next, it’s like, ‘Oh well, everyone has to be fired because the state literally says you cannot open for business and there’s no money to pay for anyone. So, it was a very shocking moment.”

He credits a quick response from the SBA and federal Paycheck Protection Program loans with helping the brewery stay afloat for the past year.

“We’re just happy that they listened to the restaurants and came out with so much, so much help. And we really do pray Congress pulls through with enough to make sure that everybody who can apply can get some,” he said.

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