Stimulus update: Latest proposal includes stimulus checks, small business loans, but is it enough?

ORLANDO, Fla. — Congress is said to be close to approving another round of COVID-19 relief that could include stimulus checks.

When Congress passed the first stimulus bill to address the economic impacts caused by the coronavirus nine months ago, lawmakers admitted then that more money would be needed.

READ: Thousands of Central Floridians evicted since Florida eviction moratorium expired

Now, a new plan is in its final stages. Part of that plan: another round of small business loans.

Adam Markowitz, Vice President of a Central Florida accounting firm, says there’s plenty to like about the proposed bill.

“It fixes the PPP deductibility issue for everyone who is concerned about that,” Markowitz says. “It lays out certain protections for unemployment to extend that into 2021.”

Markowitz says many of his clients have been able to stay in business thanks to the paycheck protection program, which gives businesses money to rehire staff.

The new bill would provide 300 dollars a week in extra unemployment for people still out of work through at least March.

It would also authorize another round of stimulus checks, between 600 and 700 dollars per person, although the qualifying income levels have not been finalized.

While the bill offers business loans for staffing, another round of checks for individuals, and unemployment benefits, it doesn’t do everything.

Sunil Bhatt, who owns a half-dozen independent restaurants in Florida, says he hasn’t been able to generate the revenue to hire back laid-off workers.

READ: Disney Cruise Line cancels all cruises until March

His industry, due to its specific costs, was eyeing 120 billion dollars in direct stimulus- not loans.

As of now, that money is not in the package before congress.

“Tens of thousands of restaurants will fail. Millions of people will not get their jobs back,” Bhatt says.

Based on the current plan, it appears those who received a 1,200 dollar check in April would be in line to get a 600 dollar check now.

Of course, that’s all subject to change until the bill is officially signed into law.

READ: Asian stocks advance after stimulus talks lift Wall St

Some estimates put the stimulus package close to 900 billion dollars.

Lawmakers have until Friday to make a deal, when the congressional session is scheduled to end for the holidays.