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Owner of Junk Ditch Brewing Company explains how the PPP loan helped them stay open

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FORT WAYNE Ind. (WPTA21) - The paycheck protection program gave out loans to 12,000 Indiana businesses, according to the Small Business Association. Junk Ditch Brewing Company is one Fort Wayne business that was able to keep their doors open because of the $150,000 they received.  

Junk Ditch has been open for about four years now, but when the pandemic hit, co-owner Daniel Campbell says it was difficult financially.  

“We put a little bit of our own money in to help float us along,” Campbell said. “The Paycheck Protection loan did exactly what it was meant to do when it came to our business.” 

He said when the shutdown began in March, they had to furlough all of their employees.  

 it allowed us to continue running and not have to worry about covering the same level of costs we were used to carrying for all the employees we can. 

“That was hard to do, hard thing to say to them, some of them have been around when we opened four years ago,” Campbell said.  

When he found out they were getting a PPP loan, he was able to bring all of the employees back.  

Front house manager, Nicholas Risinger, says he was one of the employees able to keep working through the shutdown.  

“It’s definitely hard losing our staff,” Risinger said. “But you just have to respect their comfort level and what they're comfortable doing and what they're not.” 

He said almost half the staff didn’t return, and it was difficult to watch that happen.  

“I think the management here is transparent enough that you know exactly what's going on,” Risinger said. “They did tell us pretty early on that it’s a possibility down the road.” 

While Junk Ditch received $150,000, there were 15 Fort Wayne businesses that received five to ten million dollars.  

“I think anyone that followed the rules, they’re using the loan for the reason they're supposed to use it for, at least in a forgivable way,” Campbell said. “And they had need of it, I'm fine with whoever got it.” 

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Karli VanCleave

Karli VanCleave is a multimedia journalist at WPTA for the evening newscast. Karli is a Fort Wayne native and Indiana University Bloomington graduate.
Feel free to connect with her on Facebook (@KarliVanCleaveNews) and Twitter (@Karli_VanCleave), or if you have a story idea send her an email at

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