“I was seeing all these terrible stories about restaurants and small shops where the people didn’t have any money and couldn’t get unemployment,” he said. “I just didn’t think it was right that we took the money while there was so many more people who needed it … So, I made the decision to turn the money down.”

While interviewing with Sydney Persing Sydney, Brian Rist of Executive Chairman of Smart Companies/StormSmart, explained that denying $2.6M in pandemic relief funds was his only viable option.