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Small business owners call for more financial support, direction from lawmakers as pandemic continues

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MILWAUKEE -- Urban Harvest Brewing Company's taproom might be closed, but owners Steve Pribek and Mark Kaminski are still manning the phones and brewing beer.

Mark Kaminski

"We want it to be as much 'business as usual' on the brewing side, as possible," Kaminski said.

As the bulk of the taproom's business is done by the pour, the pandemic has forced Kaminski and Pribek to re-tool. So, with a few keystrokes and a couple of clicks, you can still get their craft beer -- poured to order in sanitized and sealed growlers to go.

"We do feel tremendously fortunate that we're able to still offer something, to have a component of curbside pickup and to still be able to in some way connect with our customers and have some form of sale," said Kaminski.

Urban Harvest Brewing Company

While Urban Harvest and others in the hospitality industry may have found solutions, many more have not. Small business owners have called for more financial support and direction from lawmakers.

Melissa Buchholz

"We just need to know what to do to get back on our feet, to make it through this so that we can come out the other side as strong as ever going into summer," said Melissa Buchholz of Odd Duck restaurant.

At Urban Harvest, the brewing continues -- for now.

"Our hope is that we're still able to generate enough sales to continues to sell and to brew," Kaminski said.

And that the doors will re-open to the public sooner rather than later.

Lost wages and unemployment in the service industry, as well as many others, will no doubt grow in the days, weeks and months to come.

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