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What does the new COVID-19 relief package mean for the Brazos Valley?

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Posted at 5:39 PM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-21 18:42:35-05

BRAZOS COUNTY, TX — Congressional leaders are now in agreement regarding the terms of a second COVID-19 relief package, to the tune of $900 billion.

Qualifying Americans who are still struggling due to the pandemic can expect a $600 stimulus check. Families will receive an additional $600 per child. Those collecting unemployment benefits are set to receive a $300 per week enhancement.

Experts say the Brazos Valley has fared well compared to other parts of the United States.

”The Brazos Valley, we’ve been lucky compared to other parts of the country. The unemployment rate has gone down here, and Texas as a whole has done very well,” explained Nathaniel Muir with the Texas Workforce Commission.

Also included in the relief package is more than $294 billion for first and second forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to help keep small businesses afloat.

”How am I going to make it through this month? What am I going to do next? And how am I going to help my employees? This is that one less thing they have to worry about. It helps them concentrate on, okay how can I get out to the community? How can I bring people in? Instead of worrying about, oh my gosh how am I going to keep my lights on?” said Muir.

Some Texans, like Linda Linzey, say they'll utilize this stimulus to build their community.

”Just to stimulate the local economy. You know, you have your Walmart. You have your big box stores and stuff like that. I would prefer that if I'm going to get stimulus money, I am going to put it into the community I live in,” she said.

The long-awaited relief is coming, and many are eager to receive it. However Muir confirms this will not sustain an individual.

”I mean it’ll help, but to actually sustain a person, no it doesn’t really. I mean every little bit helps, right? But in the long run no, it’s not going to sustain a person,” he said.

Muir is hoping this will push Texans to seek a more stable source of income.

”I think it will actually increase their need or their want to search for jobs,” he said.

Lawmakers are set to vote to pass the relief package any time now.