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New COVID-19 relief package gets mixed reactions, Tavern League industry says it's not enough

Posted at 6:50 PM, Dec 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-28 19:50:41-05

MILWAUKEE — Millions of Americans will be receiving a second round of stimulus checks after President Donald Trump signed the $900 billion COVID relief package Sunday. However, some people are having mixed reactions about Congress's latest effort to help those affected by the pandemic.

"I’m just glad that they both can come together and finally agree on something because it’s definitely needed," said Michael Jenkins.

With a newborn baby boy at home and a daughter to support, Michael Jenkins says the money he’ll get from this next stimulus check will be a huge help no matter the amount.

"Anything. $600, $1,200, it doesn’t matter. It’s more than what I had yesterday. And to me, that’s a blessing that everyone should appreciate," said Jenkins.

Jenkin says he plans on using the money mainly for his children and hopes to save the rest.

"That formula is expensive, man, it’s like $20 a can. So some goes to him and my daughter," said Jenkins.

While the COVID relief package will help many, some in the restaurant and tavern industry say it's still not enough.

"We need a bigger package to provide financial relief for small independent operators to survive," said Scott Stenger, spokesperson for the Tavern League of Wisconsin.

The new COVID relief bill will provide another 284 billion dollars in loans for small businesses through the paycheck protection program, but Stenger says that won’t help.

"The PPP is designed to keep employees working at businesses. Well sadly, we don’t have a business model that can have those employees working at our businesses," said Stenger.

Stenger says instead, lawmakers should be focusing on the Restaurants Act, which would provide 120 billion directly to small taverns and restaurants.

"We have told them what we need and despite that, nobody is doing anything," said Stenger.

Other changes made in this COVID relief package to help restaurants include allowing them to borrow 3.5 times their payroll, and enhancing the employee retention tax credit.

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