A special needs employee at a coffee shop stole the show at a White House event promoting the Paycheck Protection Plan on Tuesday.
Michael Heup, an employee at Bitty & Beau’s Coffee Shops, joined President Trump with other small business owners to thank him for the forgivable economic rescue loan that helped the coffee shop keep employees on the payroll despite being closed during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I love my job and I’m excited about going back to work,” Heup said.
Bitty & Beau’s hires people with disabilities to run the coffee shop.
“At Bitty & Beau’s, we like to use a phrase called ‘Not Broken,’ Heup said, after taking the podium. “That means me and all my amazing coworkers are not broken, and we have lots to offer. I know the great country of the United States isn’t broken either.”
As the audience applauded, Heup concluded, “You guys are our family” and saluted President Trump and Ivanka Trump before leaving the podium,
“Love you guys,” he said.
Later at the event, Heup invited the president and his staff to visit his coffee shop in Annapolis when it reopened.
“Be careful. That could happen,” Trump replied. “We’ll have to do that.”
“You’re very good,” Trump added with a grin. “He’s stolen the show.”
The coffee shop founder, Amy Wright, said that their business employs 120 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“For most of them, it’s their first paying job, which made the decision for us to temporarily close all five of our shops especially difficult,” she said.
Thanks to the Paycheck Protection Program, she said, she was able to keep her employees on the payroll and said they were writing handwritten notes to customers for online orders.
“As a recipient of the PPP loan, we will continue to take up the charge and help everyone, especially people with disabilities, pursue the American Dream,” she said.