ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A warm welcome in Annapolis today for Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris.

Emhoff visited the Annapolis Maritime Museum, where he heard about the importance of oysters to the Chesapeake Bay. The museum received COVID RELIEF money through the Paycheck Protection Program.

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“Learned all about oysters. Can’t wait to eat some,” he said.

But the main purpose of the visit was to hear about how small businesses navigated the pandemic.

“I was very nervous about what to do next,” said Monica Alvarado, owner of Bread and Butter Kitchen in the Eastport neighborhood who helped create “Feed Anne Arundel,” a partnership of local restaurants of faith and nonprofit community institutions working to address food insecurity and financial instability in the local food industry during the pandemic.

“The Second Gentleman recognizes that Main Street Annapolis is Main Street America,” Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley said.

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Said U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin: “The Biden-Harris Administration wants to listen to real people.”

Real people like Spencer Jones, co-owner of Chick and Ruth’s Delly, who said federal aid like the Paycheck Protection Program is key to allowing the restaurant to keep its employees on staff.

“We wouldn’t be here without them,” Jones said. “They’re more than employees. They’re really our family.”

Emhoff said he was impressed at what he heard and would share it with the administration.

“This is a great example of programs that meet the moment,” he said. “Share it with the vice president. Share it with the president and the administration and hopefully provide more help to everyone, so thank you so much for having me.”

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Annie Rose Ramos