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Tallahassee leaders say new stimulus package could help the local community, but lacking

Posted at 6:49 PM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-21 23:12:10-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — City leaders say they are focused on many issues, with the top priorities being evictions, homelessness and assistance for families.

The City of Tallahassee is currently at an $8 million deficit by not cutting off utilities for 12,000 families since the pandemic began.

This $900 billion stimulus package will give families here $600 of relief, $600 less than what was given in March.

“Congress has had several months to negotiate comprehensive legislation that would get our nation through an impending disaster," said Jack Porter, city commissioner. "The final result, while better than nothing, is an insult to working Americans. A $600 check is a deeply inadequate, frankly immoral Band-Aid on a deep wound working- and middle-class families are struggling with.”

With unemployment up, city leaders worry that may not be enough, especially after seeing a spike in homelessness and evictions since the start of the pandemic.

"If we didn't get it now we were going to be in a world of trouble. What was most concerning to us locally was the possibility of the number of people who were going to be evicted and increasing our homeless population and we don't want that," said Dianne Williams-Cox, City Commissioner for Seat 5.

Williams-Cox said they are looking to provide landlords some form of assistance as well, in addition to small businesses in the community.

Across the board, the new stimulus package would bring back the Paycheck Protection Program loans.

As for local support, the city and county have already designated more than $1 million of COVID relief to small businesses with the COVID-19 Economic Relief Program.