WACO, TX – In Waco, all eyes are on the COVID-19 relief bill. The measure includes more than $3 billion dollars in aid for small businesses including $264 billion in forgivable loans.
Restaurant owners inside Waco’s Union Hall are remaining optimistic.
“I hope that we qualify, we are a minority owned small business,” said Leo Spann.
Spann is the owner of Po’ Boy Place, a sandwich shop that opened back in May, at the height of the pandemic.
“This business was built that we would get customer flow from downtown,” he said.
With shelter-in-place rules, customers slowed affecting sales of the business. Spann was eager to apply for the COVID relief back in March, but since he previously operated his business out of a food truck and didn’t pay rent or a mortgage, he was not qualified.
“We kind of missed on the guidelines, so it became more of a struggle. There were things we wanted to do with the business but had to rethink,” he said.
On the other hand, Wings of Waco Owner Kemar Ballentine-Harris was able to receive relief and allocated the money to paying employees.
With the proposed round of COVID relief, Harris is urging congress to make changes.
“Give it to the people that need it the most, not the business that are already thriving and have millions of dollars,” said the restaurant owner.
The House is expected to vote on the measure Monday night. If a vote is not reached, the process could take several days.