LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Many Americans are struggling to make ends meet because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Congress has announced a deal that will get money to those who need it most.
More than $284 billion from the COVID-19 relief bill will be put toward businesses to offer financial aid during the pandemic. The first relief bill was a blessing to Susie Carroway, the owner of Alene’s Florist and Home Decor.
“It was just a blessing for us because I was able to keep all eight employees on payroll and pay them the amount they would have made if they had been working,” she said.
The goal is to increase business, but Carroway said this year that has changed. With less foot traffic in the shop and fewer events to create arrangements for, she said they are doing okay.
“We are definitely doing okay. It will help tremendously for payroll because that, at the end of the day, is what my number one concern is because of my employees,” she said. “Because without them, you don’t have anything, and they can keep their lives going as long as they can stay on the payroll.”
Brendea Weaver, the Owner of Bella Salon, said the last nine months have been difficult. She’s had to change the way she does business. Weaver said she had to switch all commission-based employees to booth rent, meaning they’re contract instead of employee-based.
“When I switched everybody over to booth rent, I no longer had employees, so I didn’t qualify for the PPP loan,” Weaver said. “And that was something I wasn’t aware of after I had made that decision.”
She said whatever money that she can get she will be saving for unexpected expenses that come up.
“For instance, if we have a shampoo bowl go out, and it needs to be replaced. Or a lot of times, our washers and dryers will go out because we use them continuously,” Weaver said. “So it’s the big expenses like that, that happen unexpectedly that we don’t really have the backup for.”
The bill would also cover $15 billion for theaters and other live venues, $82 billion for local schools, colleges and universities, and more.