Helping to save businesses during pandemic may be easier than it sounds

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Spring Branch business owner thought the pandemic would take him under, so he turned his attention to helping others, which ultimately saved his business and kept others afloat.

The drinks and the orders keep flowing at the Branch Craft Beer and Foodery. Making it happen over the past four years hasn't been easy.

"I think I built it on an Indian burial ground because it hasn't been the smoothest four years," explained owner Kyle Pierson.

Pierson opened the restaurant right before Hurricane Harvey. He thought it couldn't get worse. That was until 2020.

"It's been a struggle," Pierson explained. "There's no other way around it. It's been a very hard year."

Thinking the Branch wouldn't survive, Pierson decided to help others. He took his social media following with him to area restaurants.

"I've probably promoted, just for restaurants in Spring Branch, I've probably promoted about 100 of them," Pierson recalled.

Pierson gave a boost to more than two dozen businesses this past holiday. He bought products, and sold gift boxes to customers.

"I thought we would sell like a dozen and we ended up selling over 120 of those gift boxes," Pierson recalled.

Recently, Pierson has turned his attention to health care workers. So far, his customers have helped him feed 2,000 providers giving people vaccines.

"In a weird way it makes this last year worth it," Pierson explained. "It's given me a clarity of purpose."

Pierson isn't going to slow down. For Valentine's Day, he sold more gift boxes, and he continues to eat at other restaurants.

"I encourage other restaurant owners do this," Pierson said. "A rising tide raises all ships."

It's an action that's kept drinks flowing at the Branch, and dozens of other Spring Branch businesses afloat during the pandemic.

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