Laurie Winchel, the owner of Jackalope Bar & Grill in Kennewick opened her doors only five short weeks before this pandemic struck and she was forced to close hers doors. She tried to keep business rolling by doing take out orders but there just wasn't enough traffic to keep them afloat and she was forced to lay everyone off.

As her employes all struggled to get unemployment (so far only one of eight have received anything) she made a bold move to get business back on track and get her employees back to full-time work.

Because she had only been open for five weeks Laurie did not qualify for the small business loans that are forgivable (they require you to be in business for a year). So Laurie went to the bank and applied for a loan to re-open. She will be re-opening her doors on Wednesday, April 15. She only has 25 hours a week to offer each of her staff but she is planning on paying them full time. Each employee will be paid 40 hours a week so they will not battle the unemployment overload.

Instead of sitting at home during those extra 15 hours, they have all offered to volunteer their time in our community and pay it forward. They are looking for community programs that need volunteers. Many of our nonprofit organizations stay afloat by volunteers and unfortunately many of their volunteers are elderly and unable to help during this time. They want to help! If you know of an organization that can benefit from their services you can contact Laurie at 509-554-9900, 509-408-2200 or via email at

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