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Congress passes COVID-19 relief bill, Butte County businesses and people react

The stimulus package includes around $280 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program that also aids small businesses. $600 will be given to Americans that make less than $75,000 a year. Still, some say it's not enough.

Posted: Dec 22, 2020 4:11 AM
Updated: Dec 22, 2020 10:17 AM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - The stimulus package could help out local businesses around the country that are struggling with COVID-19 restrictions and shutdowns.

It does put money into the Paycheck Protection Program which sets aside loans for small businesses. PPP loans ended in August.

"It would greatly help me, to catch up on the electric bills, invoices, and stuff like that," said Owner and Head Chef of Aonami, Jimmy Lee.

The coronavirus relief bill passed by Congress on Monday revives the PPP loan program for small businesses.

"The last one we used it for payroll and rent and utilities and stuff like that," said Lee, claiming the PPP loan is a lifeline for his restaurant. "But we're now starting to fall behind so, it'll keep us from shuttering for sure."

RELATED: Congress approves $900B COVID relief bill, sending to Trump

People in Downtown Chico discussed getting those $600 added to their pocket. The overwhelming response was, it's not enough, especially with the holidays right around the corner.

"$600 it'll make the holidays a little bit easier, [but] I definitely don't think that's enough," said Lee.

"Is that enough for you?" asked Action News Now Reporter Esteban Reynoso to Elicia Castro.

"It's outrageous and something that everybody should be angry about," said Castro in response. "It's just sad I feel like 600 dollars isn't enough to get by in a week, let alone a month or a whole year or whenever the next stimulus package is supposed to come out. It's just totally unfair."

Lee told Action News the loan would also help him keep his store running within the COVID-19 guidelines since the restaurant has taken a big hit financially since going only being open for take-out since April.

If President Trump signs the bill Tuesday, as he's expected to, the first direct deposits should start the week of Jan. 4. Paper checks would roll out one week later.

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A significant weather system will impact our area beginning late tonight, lasting through the day on Monday. This includes a large amount of snow for the mountains, with rain and wind for the valley and foothills. A steady rain will begin to move into our area around 1am Sunday.
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