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Second stimulus payment could provide relief for struggling South Floridians

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Posted at 3:39 PM, Dec 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-28 17:26:35-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A second COVID-19 stimulus bill has been approved by Congress and President Donald Trump as some benefits have either expired or were set to expire at the end of December.

"I went to sleep, I was able to take a good night's sleep," said James Ricer of Boca Raton.

A second stimulus package is a beacon of hope and much needed relief for Ricer.

"Financially, it's been an up and down like dangling a carrot right in front of your face," Ricer said.

After 13 years of being self-employed, Ricer lost his catering business near the beginning of the pandemic and has been struggling to keep his home and support his family.

"$125 is really hard to live off of. I borrowed money from family and friends and I can't do it anymore," Ricer said.

The $900 billion pandemic relief bill signed by President Trump Sunday night will provide a $600 payment to people making less than $75,000.

And those unemployed will receive a $300 weekly federal boost in benefits through March 14.

"There will be continued relief now for individuals having a difficult time making the rent payments and even utility payments," said Paul Baltron, the president of Key One Capital Mortgage in West Palm Beach.

Baltron said a federal eviction and foreclosure moratorium has also been extended.

"For Florida, $1.4 billion has been allocated for renter's assistance in the state of Florida," Baltron said.

The stimulus package also provides the potential for a second loan for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program, also known as PPP loans.

Ricer doesn't think he can ever build back his business, but is relying on this bill as a financial lifeline.

"I want my life back. I want to go to work, I want to do what I was doing before," Ricer said.

The treasury secretary said direct deposits could start going out a week after the bill was signed.

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