Local Business Owner Relieved Following New Covid Relief Bill

Congress passed a $900 billion pandemic relief package late Monday night to deliver long-sought cash to businesses and individuals. It’s the second relief package this year, and many small businesses are going to get some much needed help.

One business owner Samantha Williams talked with said the bill comes at the perfect time.

The relief package was unveiled Monday afternoon and sped through the House and Senate in a matter of hours. The final step: getting President Donald Trump to sign it into law, which is expected in the coming days.

“This year has been brutal,” David Lamb, Owner of Frutta Bowls in Montgomery and Auburn said. “It makes you re-think ‘Why did I get into this business?'”

It’s no secret that 2020 has been one of the hardest years for small businesses to make ends meet. From being mandated to close doors for long periods of time… to sharp declines in revenue.

Lamb said he took advantage of the first stimulus package earlier in the year.

“I don’t even know if we would even be here today had we not been able to take advantage of that first round,” he explained. “It’s just been a life-saver for us and many of my friends who own businesses.”

Now, eight months later, a second round of much-needed help. Out of that $900 billion relief package, $284 billion is set aside for the forgivable Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP loans, specifically for small businesses.

Part of this plan allows businesses with less than 300 employees and revenue losses of at least 25% to apply for another round of PPP funding. If money is proven used correctly, it would be not have to be paid back.

Lamb said he plans to take advantage of every forgivable loan: “The impact of Coronvirus on businesses… If we were only down 25%, I’d be shouting from the rooftops.”

With the current state of rising virus numbers, he said he never imagined the pandemic to last this long. He said like clock work, when case numbers rise, the business takes big hits.

“All business owners, this is our ‘Plan A.’ We put everything into this, so this relief showing up when it’s showing up is really going to help us make it. There is a ton of great people in our area that this is going to continue to keep their dream alive because that is what this is… This is our dream.”

The bill also provides $600 stimulus payments to individuals making up to $75,000 a year. For couples making up to $150,000, the payment will be $1,200. Families will get an additional $600 for each dependent child.

The bill will restart the $300 a week emergency unemployment benefits for 11 weeks. It will also provide $69 billion for COVID vaccine distribution and more than $22 billion for testing and mitigation efforts.

Categories: Coronavirus, Montgomery, News