SD Business Owners Say Employees Need Relief Money Now, Not Later

The news of Congress agreeing on a relief bill proved an uplifting moment for those trying to make ends meet, but a potential delay by President Trump was another blow

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Unemployed San Diegans trying to hang on until a second stimulus check arrives in the mail, felt another blow Tuesday after President Trump implied in a Twitter video that he may not sign the relief bill but, instead, wished to amend it.

NBC 7 spoke to a hair-salon owner and a restaurateur who said they both are most worried about their employees.

Gila Rut salons owner Keri Davis-Duffy has kept up with the changing hairstyle trends for decades, but more recently has spent time adapting her business quickly after the pandemic hit.

“Every single time there’s a shutdown, there are employees that can’t come back and there are clients that don’t come back," Davis-Duffy said. "So it’s not just the money we lose when we’re closed -- it’s the ripple effect that happens to get the business up and going again."

The news over the weekend of a relief bill making it through Congress proved an uplifting moment during the 10-month pandemic.

“The [first] stimulus check wasn’t enough," Davis-Duffy said. "The increased unemployment’s not enough, but it’s something more than they were getting. And so we were celebrating that because you gotta celebrate the small wins."

But then on Tuesday came a potential delay, when President Trump implied that he might not sign the bill.

“If the president is not happy with this bill, he should’ve been involved to share what his ideas were instead of getting it in on Hour 12 shutting it down," Davis-Duffy said. "So this is a huge blow for businesses and people everywhere."

It's not just salons, but also restaurants like City Tacos that have been suffering whiplash from the changing guidelines. Owner Gerald Torres has received a PPP loans but is most concerned for his employees and other workers he had to furlough.

“Pretty much 75% of our sales were gone overnight," Torres said. "So to try and make ends meet at 25% of the revenue that you’re used to bringing in was incredibly difficult."

“Whether you work at a grocery store or you work at a restaurant like mine, some of those dollars that go into people’s pockets will eventually trickle down to your pockets," Torres said. "And that’s all that we are asking for. We are asking for a fighting chance."

Both business owners hope the federal stimulus situation gets resolved quickly.

“Well, I think that Congress needs to get back there, and they need to get to work until they can come to an agreement and that something is passed so that the American people can continue to have food on the table and be able to pay their rent, and be able to take care of their families,” Davis-Duffy said.

In Trump's Twitter video, he did not threaten a veto. It's not clear what will now happen to COVID-19 relief negotiations.

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