Chicago restaurants and businesses optimistic after House passes COVID relief bill – NBC Chicago

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Chicago businesses and residents are optimistic on Wednesday after the House passed a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill, sending the measure to President Joe Biden’s office.

The bill, which includes payments of $1,400 for nearly 85% of adults in the state of Illinois, also contains assistance for school districts, local governments and state governments as they are trying to reverse the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic over the past 12 months. .

At the Nipsey restaurant and lounge at 92n/a and South Stony Island, it’s an open call for new staff as the restaurant looks to scale up indoor dining.

“We had a bigger turnout than we anticipated, and it’s great to see the faces of people ready and willing to get back to work,” Brittany Onwukewe said. “And we will give them opportunities.”

The company had been forced to lay off most of its staff during the pandemic, and the property hopes the new stimulus bill will provide them with funds to hire staff as the business expands.

“I’m offering $150 for employees to get vaccinated,” owner Teddy Gilmore said. “Once they are vaccinated, we will give them an additional $150, which will open the doors to the place safely and allow us to hire many people in the community.”

The bill would provide a total of $28.6 billion in subsidies for restaurants that saw their revenue decline during the pandemic in 2020. The bill would provide subsidies equal to the amount the restaurants lost revenue, up to to a maximum of $10 million per business and $5 million per location.

The House is expected to vote on a $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill that includes billions of dollars in relief for states, local governments, schools, vaccines and small businesses. The bill includes $1,400 for low- and middle-income families, plus up to an additional $300 per child.

About $5 billion of that money has been set aside for businesses with annual revenue of $500,000 or less.

At Dozzy’s Grill in the South Loop, the owner is optimistic the grant money will help them bounce back from a difficult year due to the virus.

“The relief bill will allow me to continue to grow my audience and meet their needs,” Dozzy Ibekwe said. “I would be able to hire a few more full-time employees.

The bill doesn’t just help restaurants. The legislation provides billions of dollars in funding for schools to help close budget gaps and improve safety measures to encourage a return to in-person learning, and Chicago public schools are set to receive just under $1 $.8 billion in funding.

The bill also includes funds for more COVID testing, funds to help roll out additional doses of the vaccine across the United States, and even funds specifically for local governments. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the City of Chicago could potentially use some of the stimulus funds to bring back several events that were canceled or moved to virtual settings in 2020, including the Air and Water Show and the Taste of Chicago.

“If it’s safe, of course I’ll be there!” said resident Cassie Caldwell. “The relief for me is just getting out of the house.”

The bill will make its way to Biden’s desk, and the president is expected to sign the legislation on Friday.

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