My name is Stephanie, and I am one of millions of Americans who fear for my financial future because of this coronavirus crisis. With businesses and schools closing across the country to control the spread of this virus, many people have already lost their jobs. Others are being forced to stay home.
This is catastrophic for working families like mine.
I'm calling on Congress to support families with a $2,000 payment for adults and a $1,000 payment for kids immediately, and continuing regular checks for the duration of the crisis. Otherwise, laid-off workers, furloughed workers, the self-employed, and workers dealing with reduced hours will struggle to pay their rent or put food on the table.
My husband and I own a restaurant in Denver and these past two weeks have been a blur. Our restaurant community is wrestling with seeing everything we all have worked so hard for irrevocably changed. Our hearts were breaking as we watched our staff divide the ingredients in our kitchen to bring to their homes: a dismal token for employees who worked tirelessly every day. Our talented and cherished team, some of whom have been with us since we opened our doors 15 years ago, are now without an income. Like our team, my family has lost all of the income from our restaurant, and business owners and the self-employed can't claim unemployment. This is the story of America right now.
For our team and other Americans who can claim unemployment, even the maximum payments will not be enough for most people to continue paying their bills – and avoid slipping into poverty. The facts are, even successful small businesses can't go months with their doors closed.