NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion C Palm Beach County


Stalled stimulus talks deflating to out-of-work residents

'A lot of people have given up,' unemployment expert says
Jim Ricer
Posted at 4:08 PM, Oct 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-07 17:20:03-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.  — Help for unemployed Americans and businesses appears to be on hold as talks in Washington over a new stimulus package have stalled.

The stress and emotion are almost too much for Jim Ricer of Boca Raton.

"What's really disheartening is we're forgotten, you know, something happens, and then they forget that there are people that are still in that same position. We haven't changed," Ricer said.

Months ago, he lost his catering business of 13 years. He said his savings are gone, and hopes of any help from the federal government now seem distant.

As Democrats and Republicans clash over how to replace the $600 a week from the summer that is now expired.

Amit Knightly
Amit Knightly

Democrats are pushing for sweeping plans of a large stimulus check and weekly benefit while Republicans are looking for individual smaller aid packages.

Amit Knightly, a deejay turned unemployment expert, said he is as busy as ever helping the unemployed. Knightly is now offering advice on the radio at 95.3 FM in Boca Raton.

"Now, most of the messages I get are just people telling me, 'Where is this money? 'Where is this money? When will I get it?'" Knightly said.

It's a question that is still unanswered for now.

It has left people like Ricer feeling uneasy about the future.

"There's the hope, the glimmer, 'well, they're talking again,'" Ricer said.

"A lot of people have given up. I’ve been trying to keep them together," said Knightly said.

Many unemployed are now just relying on Florida's unemployment benefits, which is just $125 a week for Ricer.

"I'm just scraping by. Getting by is one thing, but scraping is another," Ricer said.