CLEARWATER, Fla. — While many small businesses are struggling right now, a Bay area brewery is actually expanding.

What You Need To Know

Big Storm Brewing is expanding to Orlando.

This deal didn't just happen overnight, having been in the works months before the coronavirus pandemic.

This week, the Orlando City Council approved a downtown location for the brewery.

Big Storm Brewing owners said they're excited and moving full steam ahead.

“I think anybody in hospitality has concerns but we find a lot more upside than downside,” said Big Storm Owner LJ Govoni. “And sometimes you just have to take a calculated risk and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Govoni is one of the owners of the brewery founded in 2012. The brewery has Bay area taprooms in Clearwater, Odessa and Cape Coral.

The downtown Orlando location will put a brewery in the space that was the Magic City Grill attached to the Amway Center. The company said it hopes to have the new space ready to open by the end of the year.

Govoni said while the timing isn't necessarily ideal amid a pandemic, the company has proven it can withstand.

The Clearwater location has a full restaurant, so they've been able to stay open when bars and other breweries were forced to close. They also started producing hand sanitizer during the pandemic.

Govoni credits his hard-working team with the company's continued success.

“I think we’re just tremendously lucky, first and foremost, right?” he said. “We have a great team that works here. When the covid crisis first hit, this team came together in ways that quite frankly i don’t think any of us expected.”