Unemployment payments running out, economy shrinking, and businesses not hiring: A challenging set of circumstances for everyone

Pressure is growing for Congress to find common ground and pass a relief bill for families impacted financially by the coronavirus pandemic.

The $600 per week bonus, which is expiring now, has been a life-line for some, like Stefani Russo, who is a single mother in Webster.

“When they first gave the first one, that helped me out. But, it was only for a month and then I had to get help from my family and friends the rest of the month, but that’s a relief,” said Russo. “I had to take out a credit card to pay my bills. I’m still looking for a job. It’s hard to find a job when a lot of places are not hiring.”

She says even re-certifying for unemployment has come with big challenges.

Amanda Lucas, a Canandaigua resident, spoke with 13WHAM News about her experience.

“I have to do what I have to do every day to make sure that my family and my future is taken care of, and that’s in my hands,” said Lucas. “So, I’m surviving. I haven’t gone hungry. I’ve just been scared.”

Congress has been deadlocked this week as they consider the future of additional aid payments to people who are unemployed.

The news comes less than 24 hours after numbers showed that the US economy shrunk by an annual rate of 33% between April and June.