Beaver’s Cafe was days away from laying off its seven employees and closing its kitchen to the 600 residents of Minto, N.D., when the local bank came up big.

Choice Bank alerted cafe owner Steve Novak to a $350 billion government lifeline to help small businesses weather the coronavirus pandemic. On April 17, $10,400 arrived in Beaver’s Cafe’s account, allowing it to make payroll and keep its signature Mustang burgers on the grill.

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