Families and businesses affected by pandemic await second round of stimulus checks

Families and businesses hanging on by a thread are watching helplessly as lawmakers debate the second round of stimulus checks.

Individuals earning up to $75,000 in adjusted gross income or $150,000 as a married couple filing jointly, are eligible for the maximum stimulus payment. 

Jennifer Johnson, the owner of Happy Belly restaurant said whether the check is $600 or $2000, any amount helps.

"It's definitely needed. Everybody's falling on hard times right now, whether you own a business or you work at one," said Johnson.

Johnson said her Tacoma eatery and juice bar just started gaining traction at the beginning of 2020 but then the pandemic hit in March and everything came to a screeching halt. Sales plummeted by 50% and the state's new restrictions on indoor dining have been devastating to her small business.

"That time to connect with the community is huge. For small businesses, when you can't connect with them it deteriorates that bond that that's really hard to maintain when you're just putting food in bags and handing it to a stranger in a car who drives off with it for delivery," said Johnson. 

While the uncertainty of the pandemic is crushing for Johnson, she's taking it day by day and wishing for relief soon.

"Every day I wake up and say what will today bring and how much longer will it last, and it's really unknown. We're getting by, we're covering bills, but as an ongoing way to continue to do business is not sustainable," said Johnson.