Small business owners across the Bay Area who have been struggling through the pandemic are welcoming the possibility of receiving relief checks.
This comes after the Senate passed the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package with a 50-49 vote Saturday.
To keep his San Jose karate studio open during the pandemic, James Carter had to rely on the same skills he teaches his young students, which are “resilience, discipline and lots of patience.”
Carter, owner of Camp Carter International Karate Association told NBC Bay Area he has just 40 % of the students he used to have but his rent for his studio is the same, which is more than $5,000 dollars a month.
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Carter said that while he has received some state assistance, he also has more coronavirus-related business expenses including cleaning supplies and equipment for zoom learning. Now, he is hoping he will soon receive a $1,400 federal relief check.
“I know quite a few facilities and programs that had to close down,” he said.
“If there is not assistance and help coming in in a timely manner the business folds up. There is no use getting the funds later, so we hope this goes through,” Carter added.
On Saturday, senate democrats passed their $1.9 trillion-dollar COVID relief bill.
The new bill calls for $1,400 in direct payments for many Americans based on their income, extends $300 dollars a week federal unemployment benefits into September and provides aid to cash strapped state and local governments.
President Joe Biden says the package will offer a wide range of help for the nations’ ailing economy.
“This plan puts us on path to beating the virus, this plan gives families struggling the most the help and breathing room to get through the moment and it gives small businesses a fighting chance to survive,” said Biden.
Despite having broad support in public opinion polls, the bill passed without a single republican vote.
Opponents including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said the package is too expensive, especially with the economy already on the upswing.
“Democrats response is to ram through what they call, quote, the most progressive domestic legislation in a generation," he said. “On a razor thin majority in both houses, the right path was obvious. We followed it five times last year,” McConnell added.
The bill now goes back to the house with a final vote likely on Tuesday. If it passes, the house and is signed by President Biden, the stimulus payments could start to go out within the next two weeks.
“Every little bit helps,” Carter said.