Service industry owners praise Rep. Kind for boosts throughout the pandemic

After a year of hardship, the service industry has something to raise a glass to.

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — After a year of hardship, the service industry has something to raise a glass to.

“Today is national beer day!” said Rep. Ron Kind.

One local business is able to celebrate the holiday, with its doors open this year.

“When things get really tough we’re able to hunker down, and focus and work really nimbly,” said Tami Plourde, Pearl Street Brewery co-owner.

As a vendor, the past year was tough when other service industries were shut down, Plourde said.

“What really drives the economy is small businesses,” said Darren Price, owner of BP Smokehouse in Tomah.

To aid businesses, the government passed the American Rescue Plan.

“This was money that was given to them that they can use for wages, salaries and utilities, for rent payments, in order to cushion the blow they were experiencing in the service industry,” said Kind.

The brewery and BP Smokehouse were able to survive with the extra funds.

“I just want to say thank you Congressman Kind,” said Price.

“We capitalized on special funding, or the PPP opportunities and different grants that became available,” said Plourde.

The owners say the extra help throughout the past year has made it possible for them to open their doors for customers now.

“We are experiencing an uptick in our numbers as far as our customers coming back. Again, due to the vaccinations,” said Price.

Even though things are looking brighter, Kind said there is still more work to be done.

Kind and the business owners say that the next big step is to start rebuilding the workforce as COVID-19 precautions ease and more people are vaccinated.