Some LI restaurant owners fear closure due to lack of enough money in latest relief package

After seeing just what’s included in the latest COVID-19 relief bill, some say more businesses, especially restaurants, could be forced to close.

News 12 Staff

Dec 23, 2020, 10:55 PM

Updated 1,247 days ago

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Many Long Island business owners say they're barely holding on — especially as we move into winter.
After seeing just what's included in the latest COVID-19 relief bill, some say more businesses, especially restaurants, could be forced to close.
President Donald Trump specifically mentioned restaurants in his message to the nation, saying they are not being given enough money by this relief package. He says he will not sign the bill unless Congress comes up with more money for struggling Americans.
Rep. Peter King criticized Trump for his speech, saying the president supported the bill until Tuesday, and even urged others to vote for it.
"This was fully agreed on, every part of that bill was agreed on by the president, the president's staff and the White House," says King. "The president himself never said one word against it."
News 12 spoke with the owner of Christopher's Restaurant in Huntington. Jack Palladino says he agrees that his industry is mostly being left out of this bill, and he'd like Congress to go back to the drawing board.
"It doesn't go far enough, it really doesn't cover much of anything. I think they took out the part in that was supposed to assist restaurants, there was supposed to be a restaurant aid portion, which was not included," says Palladino.
That business owner says he'd like to see grants to help with utility bills and rent, instead of loans, which have to be paid back.
If Trump doesn't sign the bill, the government will shut down on Dec. 29. House Speaker Nany Pelosi has tweeted support for paying Americans more, saying, "Mr. President, sign the bill to keep government open! Urge McConnell and McCarthy to agree with the Democratic unanimous consent request for $2,000 direct payments!"
But Rep. Tom Suozzi says it's unlikely conservatives will go along with that. He thinks Trump spoke out against the bill to divert attention from the pardons he issued.
"The president has known all along it was going to be $600. For him to come out and say 2,000 dollars now is just the height of hypocrisy," says Suozzi.
The relief bill was passed by an overwhelming majority in the House, enough to override a potential veto.


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